Governors predict budget squeeze

13th March 2009 at 00:00
As the recession bites, teaching jobs could be lost

Governors are predicting cut-backs in school budgets over the next two years raising fears that teaching jobs could be lost, an exclusive survey has revealed

Almost 75 per cent of the 1,400 governors who expressed a view in a joint poll run by The TES and the National Governors' Association said that financial constraints would lead to reduced spending. School budgets are guaranteed until 2011 under a three-year funding agreement. But the growing economic crisis and increasing costs have led governors to warn that spending will be reined in.

Phil Revell, chief executive of the governors' association, said schools were already putting money aside as worries about the economy grow.

School finances are also coming under strain from the increased price of services - including payroll, insurance and legal support - that many buy in from local authorities, Mr Revell said. This is a particular problem for primary schools, which tend to buy in more services than large secondaries. "The financial position of schools is a complex situation," said Mr Revell.

Wendy Smith, chair of governors at both William Sharp secondary and Seagrave primary schools in Nottingham, said cuts by local authorities would be felt by schools.

Staff in some parts of the country could face redundancy, Mrs Smith said. "There will be a limit to the money available," she said. "I can't imagine that schools won't be affected, but the curriculum still has to be delivered, so there is a limit beyond which we can't cut."

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