Resource Our Schools comes following procurement research showing that Primary schools are spending 3.7 per cent less on resources than last year, and Secondary schools are spending 5.7 per cent less. ICT in Secondary schools is being hit the hardest, with a year-on-year decline in expenditure of 7.5 per cent.
The National Education Research Panel (NERP) research reveals that 53 per cent of Primary schools and 52 per cent of Secondary schools say their school isn’t adequately funded to provide a suitable teaching and learning environment. Looking ahead to the next year, 79 per cent of Primary leaders and 92 per cent of Secondary leaders say they are not optimistic about funding for their schools.
Schools, parents, suppliers and general election candidates alike will be encouraged to sign up to the Resource Our Schools statement in the run up to the election, with the signatures to be presented to the next secretary of state for education when the new government is in place.
Michael Forshaw, Innovate My School managing director, said: “There are so many useful resources now available to teachers, online and offline, that will help make lessons more engaging and creative; resources that will improve efficiencies and save schools money; resources that will plug skill gaps to ensure all pupils are given an equal opportunity to flourish. It is a travesty that they are unable to make use of the innovation that is out there. We must, therefore, do everything we can to put it in their hands now, before it is too late.”
Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT, said: “Schools are currently being expected to make £3bn of savings by 2020. These reductions put the stability of the whole education system at risk. NAHT’s Breaking Point Survey from January 2017 revealed that eight out of 10 school leaders are cutting back on equipment in order to balance their budgets. Six out of 10 are cutting back on the hours worked by support staff. Support staff are crucial to making sure that all pupils in the class can participate fully in practical subjects like science and technology. Any future government needs to commit to fund education fully and fairly, reversing the £3bn real terms cuts that schools are facing.”
Caroline Wright, director general of BESA, said: "It is vital that pupils have access to high-quality classroom resources. The unprecedented and continued pressure on school budgets over recent years is now having a real and lasting damaging impact on the quality of our children's education. Politicians must act to stop the cuts now."