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20 November 2009 School Budgets School Budget Concerns Broughton High School Parent Council December 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "20 November 2009 School Budgets School Budget Concerns Broughton High School Parent Council December 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 20 November 2009 School Budgets School Budget Concerns Broughton High School Parent Council December 2009

2 20 November 2009 School Budgets 1 School budget cuts a front-line perspective on the cuts consequences of continuing cuts alternative suggestions summary Some observations on the recent budget proposals, submitted on behalf of the Parent Council of Broughton High School

3 20 November 2009 School Budgets A front-line perspective on the cuts

4 20 November 2009 School Budgets 3 A long-term view Broughton’s budget has suffered approved reductions of £135,000 in the last 3 years 2.5% pa reduction for the next 3 years will equate approximately to a further £300,000 this relentless reduction has already had, and will continue to have, a detrimental impact on the quality of learning experience this is an untenable context for the implementation of A Curriculum for Excellence Head Teachers are faced with an impossible task, to try to deliver quality education in this financial context

5 20 November 2009 School Budgets 4 the vast majority of a school’s budget is absorbed by staff costs – both teaching and non-teaching the resource required for this is largely a function of the number of pupils, taking account of any additional social and educational needs salaries and other costs continue to rise year-on-year, yet the budget does not increase to reflect that the impact of the cuts is concentrated on the small discretionary proportion of budget within school control it is not possible to squeeze any more juice out of an orange which has already been squeezed dry Non-discretionary spend

6 20 November 2009 School Budgets 5 Non-discretionary spend 2.5% of this … … or 60% of this? Over 95% of BHS school budget is non-discretionary (eg staffing, premises) The net effect of the flat 2.5% reduction at BHS is a 60% reduction in discretionary spend

7 20 November 2009 School Budgets 6 Educational supplies Broughton receives an allowance of £75 per pupil as an Educational Supplies allocation this £67,000 forms the backbone of the discretionary budget at the school’s disposal a proposed reduction in the order of £100,000 not only restricts this, but completely eliminates it, and more! ironically, it would be better to have the Educational Supplies allocation withdrawn, than to face the challenge of £100,000 budget reduction

8 20 November 2009 School Budgets 7 Examination fees budget allocation for SQA examinations has been made without any reference to planned presentations based on current estimates, Broughton anticipate examination costs of £76,834 only £65,076 has been allocated for this this will effectively result in a £12,000 budget deficit young people risk being denied opportunity on the basis of unilateral budget allocations

9 20 November 2009 School Budgets 8 Parental leave responsibility for covering some costs for maternity and paternity leave have been transferred to schools (notably accrued holidays & keep-in-touch days) there are no additional allowances in the devolved budget to cover this with 5 anticipated maternity leavers and 1 paternity leaver, this will cost Broughton over £20,000 this effectively amounts to a substantial budget cut by the “back door”, further impacting service delivery

10 20 November 2009 School Budgets 9 Telephony project schools budgets include a “telecoms adjustment” at the same time, telephone rental costs have been removed from the devolved budget, and so outwith school control this has been done without any communication or consultation it is iniquitous and unfair to allocate costs to schools, without accrual of associated benefits

11 20 November 2009 School Budgets 10 A Curriculum for Excellence implementation of ACfE requires development of new courses and study programmes to be successful, this requires substantial allocation of non-teaching time over the next few years delivery of new teaching will impose additional burdens on both staff time and resources in the early years there is no additional allowance being made to support development and implementation of ACfE schools essentially face a choice of devoting already limited resources to ACfE – this is a disastrous way to implement major change

12 20 November 2009 School Budgets 11 Curriculum development independent of ACfE, ongoing evolution of the curriculum continues curricular changes dictate a requirement for new resources for example, new Scottish history content in History Higher requires purchase of new books the budget for this kind of development has been eroded over recent years we have reached the point where the budget barely covers basic service delivery, with no ongoing investment in development

13 20 November 2009 School Budgets 12 Management structure recent years have seen a flattening of the management structures at Broughton the introduction of faculties has led to efficiency savings as we transition away from departmental heads at the same time, the number of central management roles has increased! it is demoralising to see local efficiency savings being negated by central inefficiencies

14 20 November 2009 School Budgets 13 Local circumstances individual circumstances affect the impact of flat budget reductions schools with additional funding have an additional pool of discretionary spend from which to find savings Broughton receives little in the way of additional discretionary funding, which concentrates the impact of the cuts schools with limited additional funding face a harder challenge to realise savings

15 20 November 2009 School Budgets 14 Timing the timing of budget publication and review makes it almost impossible for Business Managers to manage sensibly against a budget some budget changes are effectively imposed more than half way through the year there has been little or no advance warning of, or consultation about, these changes this has the effect of more than doubling the impact it is unrealistic and unfair to expect schools to achieve substantial full-year savings in less than half a year

16 20 November 2009 School Budgets Consequences of continuing cuts

17 20 November 2009 School Budgets 16 Fundamental objective a good quality comprehensive education for all should be a right, not a privilege choice is already restricted for the most able pupils the ability to provide necessary support to pupils with additional needs is already severely constrained by limited resources a school cannot deliver quality, choice and support without sufficient resources the time has come to re-evaluate the service delivered against the core requirements

18 20 November 2009 School Budgets 17 Impact on pupils the consequences of the budget reductions are directly affecting the quality of education and service provided to pupils and families teaching is being curtailed due to constraints on budgets for resources and photocopying the impact is particularly concentrated on the most able and the most needy pupils the budget planning process seems to have lost sight of those who should be at the heart of the education service – the pupils

19 20 November 2009 School Budgets 18 Impact on able pupils in order to retain able pupils in the Senior School, it is necessary to offer choice a full programme of Higher and Advanced Higher courses is a core part of a school’s offering these courses require smaller class sizes, and have a higher unit cost of delivery Broughton already operates larger S3 & S4 classes, to protect resource to deliver the essential S5 & S6 classes there is no more room for efficiency in class delivery, other than reducing the programme of Higher and Advanced Higher courses

20 20 November 2009 School Budgets 19 Impact on needy pupils pupils with social and / or educational needs require additional support to maximise their benefit from education delivery of this support requires a heavy commitment of resources – often on a 1:1 basis Broughton has a particularly diverse catchment, with significant numbers of pupils requiring additional support any reduction in additional support resources will have an immediate and detrimental effect on those in most need of support

21 20 November 2009 School Budgets 20 Reliance on charity Broughton receives support in excess of £4,000 pa from the Broughton Association (a fundraising sub-group of the Parent Council) in addition, it receives immeasurable support (financial and in kind) from a range of business partners in recent years, this has evolved from supporting ‘extras’, towards funding and supporting core curricular activities this fundraising essentially transfers some of the school budget to families, staff, and local businesses with Education being a recognised priority for improving society, it is unacceptable to expect schools to effectively beg to make ends meet

22 20 November 2009 School Budgets 21 Priorities & choices Broughton could save £100,000 by: cutting the senior management team by one third cutting Principal Teachers by 8% cutting Teachers by 7% … or … cutting non-teaching staff by one quarter none of these is acceptable; although the budget for these is devolved, such decisions cannot be devolved to schools

23 20 November 2009 School Budgets 22 Priorities & choices Broughton could save £100,000 by: withdrawing courses Higher, Advanced Higher and Baccalaureate not presenting borderline pupils for exams withdrawing pastoral care services from pupils suspending staff development and reviews requiring pupils to provide own books and stationery withdrawing management time from running lets … and … withdrawing extra-curricular activities each one of these is unacceptable; pursuing all of them is complete abdication of responsibility to the pupils

24 20 November 2009 School Budgets 23 A quart from a pint pot… school budgets have been squeezed to the point that the only thing left to tackle is the teaching budget the job of the Senior Management Team has morphed from planning and mobilising the delivery of a quality service by motivated staff, to micro-managing costs and sustaining morale in the face of relentless financial pressure the persistent reduction in revenue budgets will not only affect the pupils of today, but the teachers and the pupils of tomorrow the short-termism simply has to stop, if there is to be any chance of saving / recovering Edinburgh’s education services

25 20 November 2009 School Budgets 24 A vicious cycle we are standing on the brink of terminal decline

26 20 November 2009 School Budgets Alternative suggestions

27 20 November 2009 School Budgets 26 A Curriculum for Excellence implementation of ACfE will impose additional burdens on both staff time and resources in the absence of dedicated additional funding, it will not be possible to develop good quality courses and study programmes the implementation could be deferred until sufficient additional funding can be made to ensure a successful transition this is not a palatable option, but it would be better to do this well later, rather than risk irrevocable failure from a poorly-resourced implementation

28 20 November 2009 School Budgets 27 Infrastructure costs in recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in centralised staff dealing with Education the Neighbourhood structures have led to a large number of managerial and secretarial posts a significant infrastructure has grown around quality monitoring and improvement, but this adds little value beyond the existing activities of HMIE the cost, value and quality of support provided need to be scrutinised would a smaller number of (potentially higher- paid, but) better quality central roles deliver a better service than the current arrangement?

29 20 November 2009 School Budgets 28 Rationalisation of the estate it is a matter of fact that there are too many schools for the number of pupils in Edinburgh running under-capacity and ageing buildings consumes a disproportionate share of the budget if there was adequate provision of quality comprehensive schools, there would be less demand to exercise Parental Choice, and far more equitable distribution of resources urgent and radical rationalisation of the estate, based on rational analysis of demographics, would yield greater long-term benefit than any localised budget cuts

30 20 November 2009 School Budgets 29 Shared services the sharing of resources should be explored: between cluster primary schools between secondary and cluster primary schools between clusters efficiencies should be explored across: Head Teachers / Senior Management Teams Business Managers / Bursars non-teaching staff it is very difficult to achieve efficiency improvements in teaching staff; all other areas should be actively investigated

31 20 November 2009 School Budgets 30 Course choices many pupils will study Higher and Advanced Higher courses in small classes; others have their choices constrained by the courses on offer in their school many schools make use of college courses or other innovations to expand choice it may be possible to share out the provision of certain subjects between schools – across Neighbourhoods, or across the city although this may offer efficiencies from class sizes, it will require considerable collaboration on timetabling a re-think of Senior School provision may be necessary

32 20 November 2009 School Budgets 31 Alternative funding many parents care so much about their children’s education, that they would be willing to contribute additional funding to support its delivery the success of the independent sector in Edinburgh is a testament to this the extent of parental fundraising in the state sector is further evidence however, most parents still believe state education should be free at point of delivery perhaps the time has come for the Council to admit failure, and explore alternative funding models?

33 20 November 2009 School Budgets Summary

34 20 November 2009 School Budgets 33 The bottom line it is simply not possible for schools to continue to deliver quality and choice to our young people in the context of both previous and proposed future cuts there is a fundamental mismatch between the objectives of schools and the front-line revenue budget the success of A Curriculum for Excellence, and the future of state education in Edinburgh, hangs in the balance if those responsible for budgeting cannot recognise this, then there is no hope for the current generation of schoolchildren trapped in the state sector it is time to wake up and smell the coffee


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