The Belmont Home School Association respond to Hounslow Council's Education cuts

The issues

The government has given the Borough of Hounslow £6.665 million to spend on education this year, in order to pay for agreed teacher pay rises and other initiatives. Hounslow Council is proposing to use a minimum of £3m of this money to make up a shortfall in other areas of its council income this year.

The government would not have targeted this money towards education unless it was entirely necessary. A recent announcement on teacher's pay specifies that the total rise in expenditure on pay will be 5%. This means that just 0.7% of the promised 5.7% SSA will be available to manage other initiatives. It is clear that government has identified the sum that school's will need in order to maintain service at last year¹s levels, with no growth factor. Knowing these facts it seems incomprehensible that Hounslow Council expects schools to manage without the promised £6.665 million. In her press release Estelle Morris states that 'Parents expect this money to be used to improve standards for their children'. Hounslow are clearly proposing to contravene this expectation and compromise education in the borough.

Hounslow is also proposing to cut £990,000 from the budget for reception age pupils from April. This is exactly the amount that pays for nursery nurses. Hounslow will no longer provide nursery nurses in reception classes and will expect one teacher to manage 30 four year olds single-handed.

These cuts will force governors to make redundancies in many, if not all, Infant and Primary Schools. There will obviously be a marked effect on education standards if one teacher is expected to manage 30 four year olds single handed. It will be impossible to provide an adequate quality of instruction for this age group under these conditions.

If these cuts go ahead as planned by Hounslow Council there will be a knock on effect on teacher recruitment in the borough, as reception teachers will not want to work under conditions where they are not given the opportunity to do their job effectively.

Apparently, the Council is currently deciding how much to cut the education budget by, NOT whether they should make cuts. The Executive members are considering cuts of a minimum of 2% and maximum of 6%. The £3million mentioned earlier assumes a cut of 2% plus changes to payment for reception pupils. Schools have been told that they are likely to make maximum cuts of 6%.

The greater reaching effects of that level of cuts in Belmont Primary School, for example, would be as follows:

1. Change to reception funding (- £23,068) ­ loss of nursery nurses.

2. Additional 2% cuts (- £16,610) ­ loss of NNEBs and at least 3 classroom assistants.

3. Additional 4% cut (-£33,801) ­ loss of NNEBs, a full time teacher and 2 classroom assistants.

4. Additional 6% cut (- £50,402) ­ loss of NNEBs, 2 full time teachers
Loss of NNEBs, a teacher and 5 classroom assistants.

As you can see this is potentially a very serious situation for primary school children and teachers in the borough. We have a very short consultation period due to end on Friday 15th February, during which we can raise our objections to these cuts and urge the council not to use these central government funds for anything other than for the purposes the Department of Education intended.


Protest Meeting on 12th February

What is Hounslow Spending the Money on? - Council deny diverting money from education for other services

Hounslow Announce Massive Cuts in Education Spending

Serious Cuts Proposed in Education