1:1 Support & Mainstream Budgets

As we come to the end of the academic year, we have started to reflect on things. Two areas affecting lots of schools this year have been SEND and Budgets, particularly in mainstream primary. The removal of 1:1 staff in mainstream settings to help manage every stretched school finance can have detrimental effects on school budgets and student support. Here’s why:

  • Increased Workload for Teachers: When 1:1 staff (such as teaching assistants) are removed, teachers must shoulder additional responsibilities. This can lead to burnout, reduced effectiveness, and ultimately impact student outcomes.
  • Impact on Student Learning: 1:1 staff play a crucial role in supporting students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Without this 1:1 assistance, students may struggle to access the curriculum, leading to potential learning gaps.
  • Reduced Individualised Support: 1:1 staff provide targeted support to students who require extra help. Whether it’s assisting with reading, behaviour management, or social skills, their absence can hinder progress for vulnerable learners.
  • Teacher-Student Ratios: Larger class sizes due to staff cuts can negatively affect the teacher-student ratio. With more students to manage, teachers may struggle to provide individual attention, impacting overall classroom dynamics.
  • Long-Term Costs: While removing 1:1 staff may seem like a short-term cost-saving measure, it can lead to long-term consequences. Students who don’t receive adequate support may require additional interventions later, potentially costing more in the future.
  • Well-Being and Mental Health: 1:1 staff often provide emotional support and help manage behavioural challenges. Their absence can strain teachers and impact student well-being.

Government Action Needed: The government and the Department for Education should:

  • Prioritise Funding: Allocate sufficient funding to maintain 1:1 staff position, especially for students with SEND. If not the long term cost and effect on young people and adults will be fare greater,
  • Invest in Training: Provide further investment into training for teachers to effectively support diverse student needs.
  • Monitor Impact: Regularly assess the impact of staffing decisions on student outcomes and well-being.
  • Promote Inclusion: Ensure that budget cuts don’t compromise inclusive education.
  • Ensure all Schools Offer Inclusive Education: Focus on ensuring all schools offer an inclusive education to avoid set schools within becoming the ‘go to’ school for SEND.

In summary, while managing schools budgets is essential, it should not come at the expense of student support and quality education.

If you are a school looking for 1:1 staff, as a SEND specialist agency we'd love to chat.

Posted by: Inspire EHC ltd