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The effects of school closures in the UK

It may be the worst nightmare of a long-time serving teacher when there are school closures in the UK affecting a lot of jobs from the head principal to the cleaners. But as a gloomy economic forecast continues to persist, there may be a lot of jobs that are going to be axed as national budgets continue to shrink.

Implications

In an effort to trim staffing patterns and reduce budget deficits, teaching personnel are let go and made redundant. School closures in the UK are going to affect jobs. Recently, teacher unions are on the alert in the Cambridgeshire area as there is news of decreased funding from the government. From head teachers to teaching assistants, these are just some of the jobs which may face cuts. This has an effect on the size of classes which get bigger while teachers are unable to cope with bloated groups. For example, teaching assistant jobs have already been reduced to 70 hours a week.

This raises other ripple effect issues such as:

  • Bursting classrooms

School shutting down mean larger than usual classroom sizes for students have to find another place to enroll causing overcrowded campuses.

  • Quality level of teaching reduced

The overall ratio of teacher to pupil is higher than present norms which means that supervision rate is going to be dismal.

  • Rising unemployment

There is a knockout effect that is expected to follow with teachers losing their jobs affecting pension rights, social security contributions and the like.

Mergers are also possibilities to reduce duplication like joining the University of Glamorgan and University of Wales, Newport. It will now become the University of South Wales. Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) data published that both learning institutions suffered a lower intake of up to 20% in 2012-2013 which further strengthens justification of restructuring plans so both universities will earn an operating surplus. Although assurances are made that there will be no job losses or campus closures with the restructuring, these are no guarantees at all.

The future

There is no doubt massive school closures in the UK will increase the unemployment rate and probably contribute to a lowering of education quality standards in schools that are operating. A moral concern is also raised because those who have devoted their whole life teaching suddenly find themselves without a perspective or a bleak future, to say the least.

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