Letters - Schools need to spend more in the classroom and less on middle management

Do schools have too many managers these days? One reader certainly thinks so
Do schools have too many managers these days? One reader certainly thinks so

This week's mailbag includes letters on education, knife crime and Theresa May's new 'towns fund'

School cash being wasted on wages

Why are schools complaining about their budgets? Perhaps, if they appointed fewer middle managers, assistant headteachers, deputies etc, then more of their budget would be freed up for other things.

If you go back 20 or 30 years, the average two form entry primary school would probably have one headteacher and one deputy head. A similar school today probably has one headteacher, two deputies and possibly an assistant head or two (or Key Stage leaders), all with large managerial wages. Too much of school budgets are spent on managerial wage boosts.

The profession needs to look at itself in the mirror and ask themselves some questions, as the significant increase in the teaching wage in the 10 -15 years post 1997 and the increase in the numbers mid managers are a significant reason why school budgets are stretched. The Assistant Headteacher role did not even exist before 2000.

And then there are academy trusts, who cream off a percentage of a school’s budget for their board of directors, senior leadership team and executive heads, many of who do not teach but sit in their meetings and offices thinking up demands to put on the teachers and TAs in the classroom and then judge them.

There are examples of this in Fylde and Wyre, with failing schools and boards of directors and executive heads.

I wonder what they would say about my points?

Jamie Truelove

via email

Lack of cash not the only failing

We are hearing virtually every day that schools are vastly underfunded. Although this is certainly true, this is not the only reason why teachers are put off entering the profession.

I used to teach in a Fylde state school, where the headteacher had attended one of the country’s most famous independent schools.

Nothing wrong with this, but there certainly was when it came to appointments. He told the staff he would not appoint teachers who sent their

children to independent schools.

Needless to say, the local private schools took advantage of this and appointed staff from whom the state pupils would have benefted.

Even worse was the fact that the head included pupils on interview panels for senior posts. I hardly think parents or potential teachers would have approved of this. It was no surprise when the school in question lost its sixth form.

David Pearson

Stoneyhurst Lane

Thornton

Towns fund is act of desperation

Theresa May’s towns fund smacks of desperation from a government reduced to bribing MPs to vote for their damaging flagship Brexit legislation.

The reason our towns are struggling is because of a decade of cuts, including to council funding and a failure to invest in our communities.

We’ve lost £830m to our local economy since austerity kicked in – £231m over a reported seven years for the whole North West won’t even scratch the surface to repair the damage this government has caused.

This only confirms that they not serious in their commitment to towns like ours. We need stable investment, not a one-off Brexit bribery to help a struggling Prime Minister.

Chris Webb

Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Blackpool North and Cleveleys

Death penalty to deter knife crime

Everyday in our country, innocent young people are being stabbed to death.

If one carries a knife and kills someone by stabbing that is murder – if the sentence for this was capital punishment, knife crime would stop overnight.

Stan Bowden

Poulton le Fylde