12th September 2022
Extra-curricular activities may be Cancelled as Cost of Living Crisis Worsens
School trips could be scrapped as cost of living crisis hits education sector
In a series of interviews with the BBC, Head teachers say savings must be made if schools are to survive the cost-of-living crisis and they would rather scrap trips than have to cut staff. Jayne Bartlett, Head teacher of Shenley Academy, Birmingham, said her school's annual trip to Bletchley Park to learn about Second World War code breakers may not happen this year.
She said “There are students whose parents cannot afford to take them to museums, to art galleries, to places like Bletchley Park or to travel abroad to different country to experience the culture.” She then added that cancelling school trips could mean poorer students would miss out on opportunities that might not be open to them otherwise.
In North Yorkshire staff at East Whitby Primary Academy are discussing whether the Christmas carol service can go ahead because of the cost of buses. The school is also reviewing planned upgrades to one of its playgrounds.
National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) union vice-president Simon Kidwell, headteacher of a primary school in Cheshire, estimated the school would be in £80,000 of debt after staff pay rises this year. Teacher absences because of Covid led to a £30,000 rise in supply-teacher costs at his school last year. Mr Kidwell said: "We'll look at trimming all that extra fat from the budget but, ultimately, £80,000 can't be stripped out of the school budget, because things are very tight."
Dan Morrow, the head of Dartmoor Multi-Academy Trust, which is made up of about 17 schools in Devon, is considering cutting school trips and reducing hours after-school clubs run - things he described as part of "the rich tapestry of education".
He said some of the school cleaning and catering staff, as well as teaching assistants, were already using foodbanks and considering taking second jobs. The schools are also under a recruitment freeze in a bid to avoid redundancies.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, told MailOnline this week that “it is likely that we will see cuts to curriculum options, larger class sizes and reductions in extra-curriculars such as school trips and the number of teaching assistants”.
A Department for Education spokeswoman said: "We are aware of the inflationary pressures facing schools and know that rising costs will impact schools differently. To support schools we are increasing core funding by £4bn this year alone."