Education Funding: Instead of the government providing schools with new opportunities, advanced technology, and a modern infrastructure, schools today face staff shortages, budget cuts, and outdated facilities. Just how long do schools have to cope with inadequate provisions before there’s a turning point in education funding in our country?
The future is on the shoulders of a new generation, it’s time that the government gives schools what they need to succeed.
The State of Education Funding Today
Government funding for education has actually increased in recent years, but not to the degree that it needs to for there to actually be a real term increase in funding. It’s a long way off in fact. In just 9 short years, the spending per student in England has dropped by around 8%, almost 1% per school year. Between the reduction in local authority spending and the substantial increase in pupil numbers, there simply isn’t enough funding to go around.
What percentage will schools have to slice their budgets by 2020?
Despite government claims that funding is at an all-time high, by 2020 schools will have to slice their budgets by an estimated 8%. On paper the cuts look drastic, but the reality of the cuts is much more worrying:
- According to the Education Policy Institute (EPI), from 2013/14 to 2016/17 the number of secondary schools in deficit has almost trebled – from 8.8% to 26.1%. From 2015/16 to 2016/17, the number of primary schools in deficit rose from 4% to 7.1%.
- Further research from EPI shows that there has been an almost 10% increase in the student-to-teacher ratio between 2010 and 2018. Exit rates have also increased and teacher training applications have declined.
- There have been reports of failing school infrastructures, such as the school with 300 holes in the roof, and cuts to provisions, extra-curricular activities, and resources.
Funding the Future of Our Country
Education in the UK doesn’t just need a small injection of cash to keep it afloat, it needs a real investment that can transform the way that we approach education. With more funding, schools could:
- Increase teacher numbers
- Offer more programmes to students
- Improve their infrastructure
- Invest in new technology
- Reduce class sizes
- Purchase more resources
- Offer more extra-curricular activities
- Expand the curriculum
Students that receive a higher quality of education ( achieved through an unprecedented increase in funding ) will usher in a new generation of highly-skilled workers. Education is the key to improving productivity and creative thinking. This in turn, promotes a culture of technological development and entrepreneurship. Ultimately improving the economic development of the country.
Education Can Increase Human Capital
A significant amount of research has explored the link between quality of education and economic growth. Education can increase human capital, improve innovation in the economy, and promote growth through an understanding of new technologies. A fast reform of education could have a very positive impact on the UK economy, improving the workforce much faster than longer-term plans.
By investing more in education now, we’re investing in the economy of tomorrow, improving not just the education of today’s students, but improving the education of every student in the future.
The time has not just come to invest more in education, it’s long past due. The state of education funding today is poor, yet it’s only through investing in a new generation that we can make a real change towards a better future for our country.
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