Academy Budgets 2017-2020


Friday 17th March 2017

Academy Funding 2017-2020

Dear Parent / Carer,

You will be hearing much about the issues facing school funding in the news, I think now is the right time to share with you how these issues impact on our Community Academy.

Like all schools and academies, both primary and secondary, we are facing significant financial pressures. We are currently weathering these difficult times and are in a better position than many other schools and academies are now, however the financial pressures over the next three years are continuing to build at an unprecedented and unsustainable level. At Kirk Hallam we forecast our budget over a 5 year period, at this point in time I am unable to plan for a balanced budget beyond September 2017. The following statistics are from the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) report ‘Breaking Point; A report of the school funding crisis in 2016/17’:

  • There is an estimated £3bn shortfall in the government’s education budget by 2020
  • 98 per cent of schools are losing funding as a result of the cost pressures.
  • Analysis of the DfE’s own data points to a £339 loss for every primary age pupil and a £477 loss for every child in secondary school.
  • The number of schools in deficit has more than doubled since 2015.
  • 71% of schools had to make cuts last year to balance their school budget.
  • The key reasons given for schools experiencing these financial pressures continue to be the 2015 increases in employers’ pension and national insurance contributions, given by 89% and 86% of respondents respectively. This increase in costs of over 5.5% every year with no resulting increase in school funding has been disastrous for schools.
  • This year, the third most quoted source of financial pressure reported by school leaders was the cost of dealing with the additional needs of pupils, reported by 83% of respondents
  • Worry about the impact of cuts to the Education Services Grant (ESG) for an academy is also a significant pressure, with 65% of academies reporting this as a concern. For Kirk Hallam this grant used to be in the hundreds of thousands – next year it will be zero pounds.
  • Members also expressed serious concerns about the extra pressure they are facing to support the growing number of children with mental health issues. Almost four fifths (79%) of respondents provide support for children with mental health issues directly, stepping in where cuts in health and social care funding have failed to meet the growing demand for support, without which children cannot engage with learning effectively.

The issue for Kirk Hallam is not the proposed National Funding Formula, this has negligible effect on us. Our issue is the rising staff costs relating to Pay, National Insurance and Pension Contributions. The lack of specific investment in our schools and academies, the impact of rising costs are the main reason I feel our school system is facing its biggest crisis since I became a teacher (21 years ago). I cannot state more strongly that this is my biggest concern in education right now.

I believe that parents and carers are the most powerful voice in this current situation. I believe many politicians also believe that investment in our schools must be a priority (as has been in the news only today). We must invest in our state school education system because that is where the vast majority of children will experience their education. It will be invaluable for our students as they grow up in these uncertain times that they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to make their way in life.

There are many things I believe you can do that will help our local community schools and academies.

I believe that Maggie Throup, our local MP, is someone who will listen to her constituents and I have always found her to be someone who gives of her time and cares about our area. She has on a number of occasions been very supportive of Kirk Hallam Community Academy. I met with Maggie on 3rd March 2017 to share my concerns, you could also contact Maggie at: www.maggiethroup.com or email maggie.throup.mp@parliament.uk

There is a website called Schools Cuts: www.schoolcuts.org.uk that you can visit and sign a petition. There is also plenty of additional information about the extent and nature of cuts.

My own professional association has also recently published the results of a survey on funding, you can find the summary here:

http://www.ascl.org.uk/news-and-views/news_news-detail.ascl-survey-reveals-scale-of-education-funding-crisis.html

I believe that by increasing our understanding of the problems and the issues that impact our schools we can address this issue head on. Thank you for reading this and I am happy discuss these issues in more detail if you wish.

I will do everything I can to ensure that our Community Academy continues to have the very best provision we can provide; your children - our students - are fantastic and we owe them the very best.

Yours sincerely,

 

Mr M.D. Ebbage

Headteacher