Tes: School improvement jobs slashed by 60%

Tes: School improvement jobs slashed by 60%

A letter from Prospect national secretary Steve Thomas has been published in Tes, following its publication of a story revealing that school improvement jobs had been cut by 60 per cent in six years.

A pen writing a letter

The exclusive Tes story, by journalist John Roberts, also shows that council spending on school improvement has been cut in half from £141 million to £71.5 million  between 2010-11 to 2016-17.

Read an edited version of the Tes report here.

Steve Thomas’ full letter, as published in the following week’s Tes (6 July, 2018) is reproduced here below:

Schools have been left without support

As the union representing the largest number of school improvement professionals in England and Wales, Prospect welcomed last week's story of the removal of many posts ("Are school improvement officers now just education folklore?", 29 June).

John Roberts' article captured Prospect's - and our predecessor union Aspect's - members' frustrations, as highly effective teams have been slashed by the double whammy of local authority budget cuts and academisation. Praise is deserved by teams maintaining excellent, if more narrow, support to maintained schools while being cut to the bone.

High numbers of secondaries have converted to academy status without links to local authority support, and regional schools commissioners have not established a coherent system to re­place the impartial evaluation on curriculum development, learning/teaching, inclusion, SEND, etc, that maintained schools used to get.

Sadly, the loss of independent, trusted pro­fessional partners, including many with senior school leadership experience, unafraid to act as a timely "critical friend", attracts few headlines. However, the effect is reduced proactive support and the risk of stronger intervention later.

With the changing landscape, Prospect has developed a set of standards that we ask our education professionals members to follow regardless of who they work or consult for. For full details download the PDF.

Steve Thomas

National secretary, Prospect