An overwhelming majority of school leaders have reported cuts to central support services provided by their local authority, according to a new survey.
The survey also found that as many school leaders were reporting budget cuts as were reporting increases, suggesting that the government’s pupil premium was merely moving funding around the system, rather than increasing it.
Some 88% of respondents to the latest Key Survey of School Leaders said support services to their school had been reduced, resulting in a greater administrative workload for in-house staff and an increase in services being contracted out to the private sector.
They said that reductions in services such as speech therapists, child psychologists, and HR support added to workloads as existing staff either took on the roles themselves or took on responsibility for contracting them out.
However respondents said they envisaged an increase in collaboration and more efficient use of local authority services in future.
Thirty percent of respondents said they were making greater use of the private sector to cover for reductions in local authority spending,
Sixty percent said that existing staff were taking on new responsibilities as a result of central-funding cuts.
Some respondents expressed concern about the implications of a loss of support school-improvement work, and measures to promote healthy-eating and combat bullying.
The full report can be viewed here.