New research by trade unions has found the teacher-pupil ratio has got worse in more than half Cheshire West and Chester ’s secondary schools since 2014/15.
Campaigners say 53% of the borough’s high schools have a poorer teacher-student ratio leading to less attention for young people in the classroom.
Schools have been shielding pupils from £2.8 billion real-terms cuts since 2015, says the School Cuts Coalition, but now lack of investment in education is ‘really biting’.
Greg Foster, Cheshire West and Chester National Education Union Secretary, said: “Government cuts to education are really hurting Cheshire West and Chester’s schools. Fewer teachers per student will inevitably have a damaging effect on pupils’ education.
“We should be investing in our young people. Education secretary Damian Hinds must make school funding his top priority.”
Latest research – drawn from figures produced by the Government itself – shows school staff numbers in English secondary schools fell by 15,000 between 2014/15 and 2016/17, according to the School Cuts Coalition, comprising an alliance of trade unions (NEU, NAHT, ASCL, UNISON, GMB and Unite).
This is despite having 4,500 more pupils to teach.
The coalition says secondary schools in England have seen their staffing levels fall by an average of 5.5 posts since 2015. Cuts are falling heaviest on front line teaching, with each school losing an average 2.4 classroom teachers and 1.6 teaching assistants, as well as 1.5 support staff.
Activists warn the situation is likely to get even worse, as 17,942 – nine out of ten – primary and secondary schools in England and Wales are predicted to be hit by a real-terms cut in funding per pupil between 2015-19.
To see how funding cuts have affected your school, visit the website .