UNSCRUPULOUS head teachers are sacking experienced staff to save money, a teachers’ conference heard yesterday.
Leicestershire teacher Simon Clarkson told the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) conference that a “crisis of underfunding” was hitting hard. “Staff are being encouraged to go part-time,” he said.
“[Some] unscrupulous heads are manipulating capability proceedings to remove experienced staff and replace them with cheap alternatives.”
Schools face increasing budget constraints due to rising payroll and pensions costs, according to the National Audit Office.
Tom Peach, a teacher on the Isle of Wight, reported that some schools in his area were in their third round of redundancies.
Donna Jagger, a deputy head in West Sussex, said schools had been forced to cut full-time one-to-one support for autistic children to just eight hours a week.
The government claims its new “fair funding formula” will mean “an end to historical unfairness and underfunding for certain schools.”
But Labour and teachers’ organisations have criticised the blueprint for removing funds from schools and levelling down standards.
The ATL conference overwhelmingly passed a motion asserting there was “some positive news” but that “the size of the pot is inadequate.”
Former ATL president Kim Knappett said: “The problem is not the formula, it’s that the Treasury is not providing enough funds for education in the first place.”
The debate followed a shocking survey published by the ATL and the National Union of Teachers.
One in six teachers reported that their schools were now sending begging letters to parents due to funding shortages.