Schools Risk Fiscal Disaster by Refusing to Lay off Teachers
Richard Garner Education Editor, The Independent (London, England)
HUNDREDS OF schools are refusing to make teachers redundant - risking "catastrophic consequences" later in the year when they could run out of money to pay staff, a headteachers' leader says.
David Hart, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said schools around the country were adopting the tactic.
"I can understand why schools are doing it because obviously they don't want to damage the curriculum or make staff redundant," he said. A lot of schools are holding out against cuts in the hope they will get a really significant increase in funding later. However, they will be looking at a catastrophic situation if that doesn't happen."
Mr Hart said his office had received calls from hundreds of schools who told him they were refusing to make staff redundant. Town halls were "turning a blind eye" and schools were going it alone in some areas, he said, although others were reaching agreement with local education authorities to declare a deficit budget, with councils intending to recoup the money in future.
Council leaders and heads admit the end result could be children being sent home because schools cannot afford to pay teachers' wages.
Mr Hart warned that schools refusing to make redundancies could be denied control of their budgets - with powers over finance reverting to town halls "as an extreme measure". Sackings would then follow.
In Barnet, one of the councils worst hit by the funding crisis, eight secondary schools and three primaries are refusing to make teachers redundant because they say the cuts demanded of them will wreck the education they provide for their pupils. …