EVERY school in Thurrock is facing reductions in funding over the coming years according to teacher unions who have carried out a nationwide investigation.
And the Thurrock Independent has learned that several schools in the borough have issued notices warning of redundancies among support staff as they seek to live within new budgets.
The survey of government figures shows that each school in Thurrock will receive less money per pupil – increasing class sizes and threatening jobs.
Overall, the survey says the borough’s school will see a drop of £230 per pupil by 2020, an effective cut of £5.6 million since the 2015/16 academic year.
For example, the Ockendon Academy in Erriff Drive, will see its overall income increase by around one per cent from £5.5 million to £5.6 million, but will face a drop of £181 per pupil between 15/16 and 19/20.
And the school’s income for the current year is worse still at £5.4 million, equalling around £400 per pupil.
The survey was carried out by the National Education Union, the National Union of Headteachers, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), and three others.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of ASCL, which mainly represents secondary school heads, said: “We have repeatedly warned that schools have had to increase class sizes because of funding pressures and here is more evidence that this is the case.
“It is the last thing schools want to do but they have no other choice because they have to reduce staffing numbers and that inevitably affects the teacher-to-pupil ratio.”
At the Hathaway Academy in Grays, the survey claims class sizes have jumped from 23 to 28 between 2014/15 and 15/16. The school also saw its pupil/teacher ratio jump from 19 to 22 and its pupil/teaching assistant ratio leap from 50 to 64 in the same timescale – meaning there are 64 students for each pupil.
All of Thurrock’s secondary schools are facing similar situations, and primary schools have problems too.
At Somerset Heath primary in Foyle Drive, South Ockendon, there are increasing numbers of pupils for every teacher and the school’s income per pupil is expected to drop by £282 by 2020.
And Abbot’s Hall primary in Abbott’s Drive, Stanford-le-Hope, which has seen the number of pupils increase from 211 to 239 between 2015 and today, has also seen the income for each of those young students fall from £4,200 to £3,900.
It is possible to check the survey’s outcome for every school at https://schoolcuts.org.uk/#!/schools.