Heads 'opt for cheap teachers': Recruitment hit by cash shortages

ALMOST 8 out of 10 schools appoint cheap, inexperienced teachers because they cannot afford to pay the best-qualified staff, according to a survey published yesterday.

The quality of teaching is declining, class sizes are growing and almost one-third of schools say they cannot deliver the national curriculum properly, research by the National Association of Head Teachers shows.

The union, which surveyed 145 primary schools and 51 secondary schools, says that parents are increasingly being called upon to raise money, 'not for the jam on the bread and butter, but for the bread itself'.

Six out of ten say they will have less money, in real terms, this year than last year, and almost one in three says that the quality of education they provide is declining.

Launching the survey yesterday, David Hart, general secretary of the union, said that schools were sliding into a 'parlous' financial state because they were being asked to take on extra responsibilities without extra money.

'The pressures are becoming quite intolerable, and we are seeing cuts which go to the very root of the provision of a decent education in this country,' he said.

When asked about the appointment of staff, 77 per cent of head teachers said that cost rather than quality determined their choice. Bob Fisk, a former president of the union and head teacher of Coquet High School in Northumberland, said that he had recently had to choose between taking an experienced job applicant for three days each week or an inexperienced one full-time.

'The teaching quality might not be so good, but I have got someone who will stand in front of the classes for five days each week. I would not want to say that newly qualified teachers are of poor quality, but we don't have the choice now,' he said.

More than 90 per cent of head teachers said that they had not had adequate support to bring in the national curriculum, and almost half said that they had had none at all. Many mentioned increases in class sizes as a reason for not being able to deliver the curriculum properly.

Almost all schools tried to raise funds to supplement their income, but those in affluent areas were most successful. Among the schemes they devised were horseracing evenings in which parents were invited to bet on videos of racing; letting out car parks for sports events and even carrying out bucket collections at football matches.

Yesterday the Department for Education said that school budgets had increased by almost 50 per cent in real terms since 1979. Schools had pounds 400m left in their bank accounts at the end of the 1991- 92 financial year.

Mr Hart accused the department of being 'disingenuous' in its use of figures.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
News
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Developer - London - £45k

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Application Support & Development ...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003