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Over the past three years secondary schools in Nottinghamshire have lost an average of £296 per pupil, a CBJ News investigation has found.

Overall there has been a £2,304,430 loss in funding to schools across the county. Schools have been forced to save this money by cutting back on educational equipment and hiring less experienced teachers.

CBJ News also found that class sizes are on the rise. In the extreme case of The Nottingham Emmanuel School, classes have increased by 10 pupils over the past three years. This means that the county’s children are not getting as much dedicated one-to-one time as they were a few years ago.

A summary of the findings of the investigation.

This is a nation-wide issue, with The National Education Union finding that 4,819 schools will see a cut or freeze on funding, resulting in a fall in schools budgets for 2018/19.

Academies were introduced into the education system to help combat budget issues. Schools were encouraged to convert to academies due to it allowing them to be in charge of how they spend their own budget.

Our investigation also found that over half of Nottinghamshire’s school’s are starting GCSE’s a year early. This is because academy status also allows school’s to be in charge of their own curriculum. By starting GCSE’s early, more students are likely to pass, which makes the academy look better on league tables.

“We’ve been sold a political solution with no resolution” — alasdair smith, anti-academies alliance

However, this decision also means that student’s are missing out on a years worth of creative education. Academies are consciously making their students start GCSE’s a year early, meaning their students are losing one year of creative, design and physical education purely for school to look good in results and performance graphs.

Alasdair Smith, Head of Anti-Academies Alliance said “The issue lies with successive governments claiming that they will do better, but they don’t do better.

We’ve been sold a political solution with no resolution, schools are still just doing okay.”

Research from the Sutton Trust has shown poorer students from working class backgrounds are actually performing worse as a result of academisation.

There are many differing opinions on whether academisation has worked.

A CBJ News survey has found schools have wrote to pupils to ask for money towards class materials, and resources for pupils with special educational needs.

We approached several academies in Nottinghamshire to ask how they manage their budget and ensure how it does not effect their students’ learning. They all refused to, or did not comment.

Budget Cuts – What effect are they having?

  • Increasing class sizes
  • Less people entering the industry
  • Larger work-load for teachers
  • Curriculum changes – including losing a year of creative subject teaching
  • Freeze on teachers salary
  • Fewer cleaners

Alasdair Smith is the Head of the Anti-Academies Alliance.