Sunday, 19 February 2017

School Budgets- “The Toblerone Effect”

Fans of the triangular Swiss chocolate with honey, almond and nougat have been up in arms recently, because not only has the net weight been reduced by approximately 10%, the spacing between the triangles has become more “gappy”.

In schools, we are also facing the “Toblerone Effect”. Real term budgets have decreased, and are set to continue decreasing by a further 8-10% by 2020. Furthermore, the Government proposal for fair funding has failed to sufficiently address the gaps between the highest and lowest funded schools.

@jonathansimons  the former advisor to the Treasury and now the director of policy and advocacy at the Varkey Foundation wrote a thought provoking article in the @TES last week.

Jonathan reflects on the fact that education spending is due to fall from a high point of 5.95% of GDP in 2010 to 4.07% of GDP in 2020. Jonathan argues that a hard minimum spending guarantee of 4.5%, similar to arrangements for defence (2%) and Foreign Aid (0.7%), would demonstrate that school funding was one of the Government’s enduring priorities.

The 2015 Conservative Manifesto promised:
 “On current pupil numbers forecasts, there will be a real-terms increase in the next Parliament.” 
It is clear that this is not happening. Analysis of the DFE’s own data points and statistics from the The National Audit Office show that, like the Toblerone, schools are facing a 8-10% decrease.

School Governors will have some tough choices in the coming months. They will be asking:

    Can we still afford to employ staff to support children with additional needs?
    Can we keep class sizes below 30?
    Can we afford a Headteacher?
    Can our small school stay open? 

As a sign post-Brexit intent I challenge the Prime Minster, and Chancellor to demonstrate ambition for our young people, and a genuine commitment to social mobility, by halting the real term cuts to our Education system.

Parent Power

Our biggest allies in our schools are our parents. I urge them to make their collective voice heard by following the four-step plan below:

    Visit the website at
    Share the results on social media use the hashtag #SchoolCuts
    Sign the petition on the website
    Email your MP using the link on the website and encourage others to do the

Further information can be found in the NAHT flyer for parents:

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  1. It is a heart breaking situation where brilliant staff and TA's are so vulnerable. Prisons = a real mess...... NHS = a disaster ..... Education makes it a hat trick of lack of thinking and common sense

    1. We need to need to encourage parents to make their collective voice heard. I'm sure you can get 100% of the Parklands Community on-board.