15th March 2016
Ahead of the Budget, new research released today from The Publishers Association exposes the tough financial choices head teachers are facing. An independent survey revealed that up to a fifth of primary (18%) and almost a quarter (23%) of secondary headteachers in England anticipate significant funding shortfalls over the next three years. Such concerns have more than doubled since the Government’s last funding announcement at Autumn Statement last year.
The research also revealed that:
- A further 37% of primary and 38% of secondary headteachers in England accept there is a real possibility of funding shortfalls.
- The financial pressures will have a significant impact on schools ability to purchase classroom materials with primary headteachers expecting significant impact on their expenditure on library materials (30%) and digital content (27%) and secondary headteachers concerned about expenditure on printed materials (30%) and teacher resources (32%)
- These pressures are coming at a time when headteachers are increasingly recognising the importance of good quality digital content and textbooks in raising standards. Publisher digital content was ranked the highest resource in raising standards with free online resources falling out of favour.
Commenting, Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive of The Publishers Association, said:
“This report should serve as a wakeup call to Ministers of the direct impact that cuts in budgets will have on the classroom. Teachers increasingly recognise the importance of a range of published content in raising standards and it is of great concern that schools predict that their ability to buy these resources will be reduced in this way.
“Literacy skills for 16 – 24 year-olds in England are currently at the bottom on OECD rankings. If the Government is serious about reversing this decline, it needs to ensure that teachers have the best materials at their disposal and that school libraries can be properly resourced”.