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'Half of schools' facing budget cuts

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More than half of England’s schools are facing budget cuts, with many saying they may need to axe jobs, a survey suggests.

A poll by school information service The Key found that 51% of school leaders are reporting a reduced school budget, with fewer than a third (32%) saying their funding has increased.

Of those seeing a cut, almost half (47%) said they would have to consider cutting staff numbers.

Others said they were looking at cutting back on building maintenance and information and computer technology.

The survey, which questioned 1,177 school leaders, also found that with local authorities under pressure to make cuts, 88% of those questioned said that the support services they receive have been reduced.

The government has said that the school budget will be protected in cash terms per pupil.

The poll also asked school leaders for their opinions on academies - education secretary Michael Gove has said he will allow every school to apply for academy status.

Just over two-fifths (43%) said they would consider making the change.

Academies are semi-independent state schools that receive funding directly and have greater control over the curriculum and staff pay and conditions.

The Department for Education today announced that more than 1,000 schools have applied to become academies.

Mr Gove said: “A third of secondary schools are now either an academy or have started on the road to conversion. This represents a fundamental shift in power away from government and towards teachers. Teachers, not politicians or bureaucrats, know best how to run schools.”

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