State of Education survey report 2016 - Page 7

Looking ahead: worry over budget pressures When we asked school leaders what they expect their biggest challenge to be over the next 12 months, from a list of 14 possible options, there was one stand-out area of concern. While for 19% it will be teacher recruitment and retention (second place overall), and for 15% teacher workload (third place), it is budget pressure that looks set to be the main challenge in the year ahead – with three in 10 (31%) school leaders selecting this from our list. We know that, with the proposed national funding formula, schools may see their budgets change, but the increase to National Insurance contribution rates, end of contracting out of pensions and introduction of the living wage still mean that budgets have to stretch further. Worry about budget pressures is more widespread in secondary schools, where more than two-fifths (43%) of school leaders expect it to be their greatest challenge in the coming year, compared to just under a third (28%) of primary school leaders. When looking at the results by region, budget pressures/lack of funding is considered to be the biggest challenge ahead by most school leaders up and down the country. Only those in the capital bucked this trend, placing teacher recruitment and retention as the top challenge on the horizon for their schools. What governors think Over a quarter (27%) of governors expect budget pressures/lack of funding to be the biggest challenge over the next 12 months. However, governors are up for the challenge: 80% are confident that their governing body can manage any forthcoming funding pressures and 92% are assured that they can oversee the school’s financial performance. We are being asked to do more and more with less money. Many professionals are pushing things back to schools, and we are stretched already." We will manage it but it won’t be easy” Headteacher Governor Join the debate @TheKeySupport State of Education Survey 2016 | 7