New research from teaching unions, the ATL and NUT, has found that schools are not only cutting hours of teaching for core subjects, but also stripping entire subjects from the curriculum.
A survey of 1,200 union members found that almost three quarters (71%) of the secondary staff said there had been cuts to teaching posts in their schools in the past year. Consequently, 64% of this group said there had been a reduction in vocational subjects in their schools.
Commenting on the research, Baljinder Kuller, who has over 15 years’ experience in education recruitment, and is now Managing Director of online supply teacher portal, The Supply Register, said:
“It’s shocking that subjects such as design technology, RE, music, modern languages, drama, PE, and art, as well as vocational subjects including engineering, construction, childcare and business studies are being cut from some school curriculums. While it is, of course, natural for leaders to focus attentions on core subjects when resources are squeezed, the teachers of subjects not included in league table measures have vital skills and expertise to share with our young people.”
“According to the Education Policy Institute (EPI), an average secondary school will lose almost £300,000 per year by 2019/20, while primary schools will be about £75,000 short in the same period. Schools are being squeezed hard – and against this backdrop, it may seem a logical choice to cut man-hours to help reduce spend. However, decision makers should consider other available options. For example, negotiating prices with existing talent providers or looking for alternative suppliers who provide better value to ensure that pupils’ options are not narrowed any more than is vitally necessary”.