Stephanie Reveals Cuts to school staff numbers

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 1st March, one in every four support staff in Barnsley’s secondary schools has been lost since 2011, Stephanie has revealed.

The figures were admitted to the local MP by an Education Minister in response to a written parliamentary question.

According to the Government, the number of teaching assistants in secondary schools across Barnsley has fallen from 287 in 2011 to 202 in 2017, a fall of nearly 30 per cent.

Other support staff have fallen from 273 to 207 in the same period, a reduction of over 24 per cent.

Combined, this means that staff other than frontline teachers in Barnsley’s secondary schools have reduced by over a quarter since 2011.

Support staff are particularly important for children with special needs, often providing dedicated support and preventing increased workload pressure on teachers.

Even auxiliary staff employed by schools, including everything from cafeteria workers to bus drivers, seen their number fall by over one in five.

Since 2013 Barnsley’s schools have faced cuts to funding of £3m, equal to 5 per cent of the total schools block allocation funding.

This is significantly higher than cuts across the region, equivalent to 3 per cent.

Per pupil funding has fallen by over £500 in the same period, a drop of 8.4 per cent and higher than the national average of 4.9 per cent.

Commenting, Stephanie said:

“Once again, we see the real impact of this Government’s near decade-long obsession with austerity, as support staff in our schools have fallen by over a quarter since 2011.

“Teachers are already under pressure after being asked in too many cases to do more with less, and now we see their vital support workers reduced significantly over recent years.

“Many schools here in Barnsley are doing a fantastic job in trying circumstances, it’s time this Government properly supported them in doing so.”