The Association of Directors of Education in Wales (ADEW) is today warning of the acute pressures faced by our schools, and that governing bodies will be forced to cut teaching jobs and schools’ budgets on a huge scale if increases in teachers’ pay and pensions aren’t fully funded by UK Government and that the Welsh Government budget settlement does not fully account for increased costs that schools face, including inflation and cuts to valuable support services.
In July, UK Government announced a 3.5% rise in teachers’ pay which would cover England and Wales. As yet, no confirmation of who will cover the costs have been received. The UK Government has also announced a 5% increase in employers’ contribution to teachers’ pensions.
The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) has forecast 7,000 council jobs per year – including teachers and school staff – will be lost over the next three years due to continual cuts to local government budgets over nearly a decade.
Chair of the Association of Directors of Education in Wales (ADEW), Aled Evans said:
“Councils have so far managed to give a degree of protection to schools’ budgets from the huge cuts that have decimated other valued services to the bone. However, with schools having to shoulder growing financial pressures, councils will have little recourse but to make extremely tough decisions which will inevitably impact on how education is delivered in Wales.
“Teachers are integral to help pupils reach their full potential in our schools, and they deserve to be rewarded for the incredibly valuable role that they play in our communities. But it is clear that the £23m which has been allocated by UK Government is nowhere near enough to cover the teachers’ pay award and we urge them to follow their own Statement of Funding policy, which requires UK Government to fully fund any financial implications of its own policy changes.”
“Our schools are now feeling the strain of ongoing harsh budget cuts. In the wake of the Westminster Budget, it is expected that local government will receive a possible £58m in consequentials. To avert a potential disaster in Welsh schools, it is imperative that education is prioritised when this funding comes down the M4 to the Welsh Treasury.”