Hi, I'm Annal Nayyar

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annal nayyar-reports Academy trusts generate surplus of significant sums

The National Audit Office (NAO) criticised the government’s first combined annual report and accounts for the academy sector, which revealed that two thirds of all secondary schools now had academy status. Overall, a quarter of schools are academies.

A total operating surplus of more than £500 million was reported by the sector at the end of August 2016.

Annal Nayyar – BBC report on School Funding

Academy funding falling for secondary pupils

Academies in England received less last year per pupil in secondary schools than four years earlier, according to official figures.

The median income per secondary pupil in academies for 2015-16 was £5,714, down from £6,340 in 2011-12, not taking into account inflation.

Head teachers have been campaigning about funding shortages.

The figures from the Department for Education show a £280m shortfall between total income and expenditure in academies in 2015-16.

This represents a gap of 1.5%, compared with 1% in the previous year.

Less on teaching

About six in 10 multi-academy trusts spent more than their income – and just under half of standalone academies had an income shortfall.

But the Department for Education says this “deficit does not mean that these academies or trusts are in debt, as they may have reserve funds through which these costs were met”.

Annal Nayyar blogs report that Lib Dems in ‘breakfast doesn’t mean breakfast’ attack

The Lib Dems have said “breakfast doesn’t mean breakfast” as they attacked Conservative plans to end the free school lunch policy brought in while they were in coalition.

Ex-leader Nick Clegg called on Theresa May to reverse the cut, saying a plan for free breakfasts in England instead would allocate only 7p to each child.

The Tories say breakfasts would help all pupils – while also freeing up extra cash to spend on schools.

Mr Clegg urged a U-turn on the plan.

The former deputy prime minister parodied the prime minister’s “Brexit means Brexit” phrase as he attacked the plan to end the current policy which gives all pupils free lunches for their first three years at primary school, irrespective of their parents’ wealth.

The Conservatives say that it would be better instead to offer all primary school pupils a free breakfast – as well as continuing to offer the traditional means-tested free lunches.

Mr Clegg said: “Not only do I think Theresa May’s decision to snatch readily available lunches to kids in primary school is wrong… it is also so dishonest, to claim that somehow free breakfast will be readily available when the Conservatives’ own figures show that they’re only calculating for 7p per breakfast.

“Any parent across the country knows that a 7p breakfast is not going to replace what is lost by taking away healthy lunches.”

‘Half an egg’

MPs in the next parliament would have to vote to repeal the law guaranteeing infant school free lunches, he stressed, whereas Conservative MPs had voted for it in coalition with the Lib Dems, and kept it on the manifesto for the 2015 general election.

The prime minister should do a U-turn on the policy, Mr Clegg said – as she had, he said, on calling an election, on national insurance tax increases and the dementia tax.

The Liberal Democrats say the Children’s Society estimates half of school age children who live in poverty would not access free school meals because of the eligibility criteria and the associated stigma in claiming them.

The Conservatives want to axe the free meals plan to save money to plug gaps in England’s school finances.

The party hopes to save £650m by ending the right to a free meal for all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, but has pledged to offer all children a free breakfast.

It said in its manifesto: “We do not believe that giving school lunches to all children free of charge for the first three years of primary school – regardless of the income of their parents – is a sensible use of public money.

“There is now good evidence that school breakfasts are at least as effective in helping children to make progress in school.”

 

annal nayyar upload report: Nick Clegg: Tory school meal plans ‘hit children’s health’

Conservative proposals to end free school lunches for infants in England will have a negative impact on children’s health, Nick Clegg has said.

The Conservatives are proposing free breakfasts for all primary school children instead.

But Mr Clegg said that unlike school lunches, breakfasts have no minimum fruit and vegetable portions.

He said it meant children would no longer get free access to two of their “five-a-day”.

School food is shaping up to be a major battlefield at the general election:

  • In Scotland children in their first three years at primary schools will continue to get free school lunches whoever wins the general election, after it was introduced by the Scottish government in 2015
  • In Wales all primary school children are entitled to a free school breakfast, in addition to free lunches for infants
  • Labour says it will introduce free school lunches for all primary school children in England, not just those in the first three years, paid for by removing a VAT exemption on private school fees
  • The Conservative manifesto says: “We do not believe that giving school lunches to all children free of charge for the first three years of primary school – regardless of the income of their parents – is a sensible use of public money”
  • The Liberal Democrats say they would extend free school meals “to all children in primary education and promote school breakfast clubs”

Annal Nayyar- uploads report on Conservative manifesto launch: Private schools will be forced to sponsor state sector or lose charitable status

At least 100 of the country’s leading independent schools will be forced to sponsor a state school or risk losing their charitable status, under the Conservatives’ education proposals.

 

The Tory manifesto states that private schools must sponsor an academy or set up a free school, as part of plans to create the “world’s great meritocracy”.

 

In a move that will be seen as a warning that private schools will not be able to ignore the demand, the Tories said that they are “keeping open the option of changing the tax status of independent schools if progress is not made”.

 

Under Conservative Party plans, failing schools will be banned from accepting any more pupils. The plans, which will affect more than one in ten schools in the country, will bar councils from creating new places at schools that have been rated “inadequate” or “requires improvement” by Ofsted, the regulator.

 

Annal Nayyar report that BBC State School cutbacks put ‘education system at risk’

The £3bn savings expected of England’s schools threaten the stability of the whole education system, says the National Association of Head Teachers.

General secretary Russell Hobby says ministers should no longer be allowed to claim school funding is protected.

The Department for Education has said school funding is at record levels.

But the Institute of Fiscal Studies says this claim does not tell the whole story or take account of the impact of cost pressures on per pupil funding.

It has just published research which says to keep school funding at its present levels in real terms, an extra £2bn will be needed between 2017 and 2022.

‘Admit the reality’

Between 2015 and 2017, schools had been required to make £1.7bn savings, it added.

The association has been highlighting, along with other teaching unions, the cost pressures facing schools in England.

The rise in the amount that schools have to pay out is estimated to be £3bn by the National Audit Office between 2015 and 2020.

In research carried out with 1,100 union members, nearly three-quarters (72%) said their budgets would be “untenable” going forward to 2019-20.

Nearly a fifth, some 18% of respondents, said their schools were already in deficit.

‘Toilet rolls’

Incoming NAHT president Anne Lyons said: “In my own school I’ve got to find £200,000 from somewhere.

“I don’t know about you but that kind of cash isn’t exactly lying around in reserves.

“It isn’t ready to be simply wiped off the balance sheet just by buying my toilet rolls from a different company,” she added, referring to DfE advice urging schools to look at how they procure products and services.

The Department for Education spokesman has said it has protected the core schools budget in real terms since 2010, with school funding at its highest level on record at almost £41bn in 2017-18 – and that is set to rise, as pupil numbers increase over the next two years, to £42bn by 2019-20.

“We recognise that schools are facing cost pressures, which is why we will continue to provide support to help them use their funding in cost effective ways and make efficiencies.

“This includes improving the way they buy goods and services and our recently published School Buying Strategy is designed to help schools save over £1bn a year by 2019-20 on non-staff spend.”

 

Annal Nayyar blogs report that outlines Cash for poor pupils used to fill budget gap

The pupil premium designed to help children from poor backgrounds is being used by almost a third of head teachers to plug gaps in their budgets, according to a think tank. A survey of 1,361 teaching professionals also found that two thirds of schools had cut back on teaching.

Schools in England are facing their first real-terms funding cuts in 20 years and are having to find about £3 billion of savings — seven per cent of their budgets on average

Annal Nayyar posted report Public Finance report states Half of schools turn to parents for financial support, unions claim

Teaching unions have urged the government to “sit up and listen” on education funding, after a new survey revealed half of schools have turned to parents for financial support.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers and National Union of Teachers have said the survey, published today, indicates teaching standards are dropping as schools focus on cutting costs.

According to a joint statement, the unions said that “funding pressures are already biting in schools in England, affecting the quality of children’s education, and parents are being asked to make up the shortfall”.

The government has introduced a requirement for schools to find savings of £1.3bn by better procurement and £1.7bn by using staff more efficiently by 2019-20.

Last month MP’s labeled Whitehall’s cost-cutting exercise “dangerous” amid concerns further cuts could not be made without damaging education standards.

The survey of nearly 1,200 teachers, support staff and headteachers carried out in March, found that 49% said their school has asked parents to pay for items to help their child’s education.

Respondents claimed that parents were asked to pay to attend school concerts and sports events, to pay for text books (10%) and for art and design technology materials (12%).

Meanwhile, one in six said their school asks parents for money to help fund the school (17% of primary and 16% of secondary respondents).

One respondent, a teacher in a primary school in Essex, said: “Over the last two years, the ethos of the school has changed from being based on a family atmosphere to being driven by cost-cutting”.

Mary Bousted, general secretary of ATL, said: “The government needs to sit up and listen. Schools are already struggling to make ends meet and children are already losing out.

“But government underfunding means this will get much worse, since in two years’ time schools will have to make savings of more than £3bn a year.

“Unless the government finds more money for schools and fast, today’s school children will have severely limited choices at school and children from poorer families will be even further disadvantaged because their parents may struggle to provide the resources schools can no longer afford.”

According to the survey, 76% of respondents said their school’s budget has been cut this year compared to last year.

Of those surveyed, 93% were pessimistic about their school’s funding over the coming three years, and 50% said their school has larger class sizes than last year, rising to 70% of secondary school respondents.

The survey found 60% of secondary schools had cut the range of non-English Baccalaureate subjects while 64% now have fewer vocational options. Also, 24% had cut teaching hours for courses.

More than 70% of both primary and secondary schools had cut spending on books and equipment.

Kevin Courtney, general secretary of NUT, said: “Children deserve and need an education system that supports their learning and provides a rich and varied curriculum but schools are struggling to provide this with their current funding. When the government’s real terms cuts take effect schools will simply be running on empty.

“Parents cannot sit back and watch their children’s education harmed by this bargain-basement approach to schooling.”

There were also reports of schools renting out school buildings to raise funds, and 44% of respondents said their organisation did this.

While 26% said their schools were renting out facilities on school grounds and 5% said the school had rented out its car park.

  • Anthony Barej

Annal Nayyar blogs – BBC Report identifies School funding: Winners and losers in shake-up

Individual schools will lose or gain hundreds of thousands of pounds in the first year of the biggest shake-up of school funding in England for decades.

Official figures released as the part of consultation on the changes show 9,045 schools will lose money while 10,653 will get more.

One school – Nottingham Academy – will get £224,000 less in the first year of the new “funding formula”.

Two, Loxford School in Redbridge and The Sydney Russell School in Dagenham, will be £300,000 better off amid moves to end a “postcode lottery”.

Governors urge school funding bravery

In four areas of the country every school will either be the same or worse off, with no additional funding, according to the data.

The figures look only at the new funding formula and do not take account of other costs and pressures on school budgets, such as inflation.

Schools have to account for unfunded rises in pay, pension and National Insurance contributions, which will take up between 6% and 11% of their budgets by 2019-20.

It has been estimated that real term losses will reach £74,000 for primary schools and £291,000 for secondary schools by 2019-20.

Across England, the overall budget given to schools is rising by 0.5% compared with spending in 2016-17, from £31.6bn to £31.8bn.

Annal Nayyar – BBC Report outlines- The parents of about half a million pupils in England are being sent a letter on Thursday warning of cuts to schools because of funding shortages.

The heads of almost every school in Essex, West Sussex, East Sussex and Cornwall have written a joint letter warning of budgets at “breaking point”.

They say it will mean staff cuts, bigger class sizes and fewer support services, such as for mental health.

The Department for Education says school spending is at record levels.

The letter, sent to MPs and parents, from the heads of more than a thousand schools, accuses the Department for Education of being “entirely irresponsible” over school finances.

“School leaders from Penzance to Bognor Regis to Eastbourne and onto Colchester are joining together and are united by a common purpose; we all want adequate funding for every school,” says the letter.

It calls on local MPs to support their schools’ campaigns for better funding.

Funding battle

Heads have been protesting that school budgets have failed to keep up with rising costs – highlighting a National Audit Office report of a £3bn funding gap.