BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: Education  
News Front Page
N Ireland
Hot Topics
UK Systems
League Tables
Talking Point
Country Profiles
In Depth
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
Wednesday, 5 June, 2002, 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK
Managing my 25,000 deficit
Mick Brookes
Mick Brookes fears staff redundancies

The 240 pupils at Sherwood Junior School in Warsop, Nottinghamshire, had been hoping for an upgraded computer room this year, but the 10,000 set aside for this has been used to pay teachers instead.

The seven to eleven year olds were also due to have their library improved, but that is now on the back burner.

It doesn't stop there - with a budget deficit of 25,000, head teacher Mick Brookes may have to make one of his nine teachers redundant.

He hopes a funding boost from the government will take away that eventuality, but, until then, every teacher at the school knows it might be them.

"This will mean that pupils will be in larger class sizes in Year 6 - so there'll be less attention and all the other things that larger class sizes mean," says Mr Brookes.

Tough decisions

"And it's not good for staff morale if I have to force someone out - if no-one wants voluntary redundancy, for example.

"It's not good for me as a manager of a school - I, along with hundreds of others, am going to have to make some very tough decisions."

Mr Brookes says he will also have to take away the two hours per fortnight "non-contact time" teachers get for lesson planning and marking.

"All the things Estelle Morris is ordering us to do are going to become impossible."

As head teacher, Mr Brookes teaches for 25% of the week.

At the moment this is from choice, but, from next April, it will be out of necessity.

18,000 left

Mr Brookes says his budget has increased by 4.3% this year, but his staffing costs have risen by 14.7% taking into account performance related pay, rising pay levels and inflation.

In total, he receives 404,000, but a huge proportion - 386,000 - is taken up in staff salaries, leaving just 18,000.

That money has to cover everything else, including utility bills, such as gas, electricity and rubbish collection.

Mr Brookes also has a little over the national average number of children with special educational needs - 25% - and the extra support needed for their development is an added cost.

"And then there's books, equipment, furniture and so on - all that's been cut this year in order to survive," says Mr Brookes.

"We won't be upgrading the library, it'll be a case of doing a jumble sale to raise the money - back to the amateur days of grabbling around cap in hand looking for funding."

See also:

05 Jun 02 | Education
30 May 02 | Education
05 Jun 02 | Education
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Education stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Education stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |