You’ve probably seen more news recently about the new funding strategy by the government for our schools.
The new approach to funding for education is based on an amount per child per head, rather than a different amount for different schools.
Whereas some feel that this approach is a step towards fairer funding for all children, others feel that the amount is not nearly enough. There are going to be inevitable winners and losers, some of the losers being those already struggling. (Find the figures in an article in the Independent here)
A report by the BBC after a survey of school governors suggests that there will be a catastrophic squeeze on already impoverished schools.
Parents will be increasingly asked to help contribute towards funding, which in itself will create a difference in provision depending on the location of the school and the income of its clientele.
The biggest danger is that squeezed schools will cut staffing, meaning a lower ratio of adult time per child, whether Teachers or Assistants.
Adult time with children is one of the best resources a child can have for their education. Not necessarily to deliver lessons and learning in the traditional way we’re familiar with. But more for essential support of their understanding as curriculum subject matter becomes more complex and sophisticated. A teacher told me recently that he delivers to a Year 6 group subjects that, years ago, were only taught at secondary school. Children need an adult to ask questions of and discuss topics with, or to have it explained individually if necessary. They need guidance and encouragement, help with reading and interpretation etc and it’s this individual help that will be sacrificed if funding for staff is cut.
It seems that funding for education is never good news. And is much a war on politics as it is economics. Many parents already struggle financially and having to fund schools is not what’s needed when it’s hard to put food on the table.
But, more optimistically, what parents can do is spend time; give the individual time to their child that may be lacking in school.
You can use this valuable time to: –
- make the child feel their education is worthwhile by showing interest and support
- listen to reading and chat about books
- help with homework or research
- offer further explanation if a lesson wasn’t understood in class time
- sit and chat about topics in informal ways to improve understanding and motivation
Budgets will come and go, but our parental support can always stay the same.