Autumn Statement costs college another £183,000

PUBLISHED: 06:30 14 December 2015

Sidmouth College principal Kenny Duncan. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 4550-37-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Sidmouth College principal Kenny Duncan. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 4550-37-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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The Government's latest budget means Sidmouth College will have to fork out another £183,000 in the next financial year.

Business manager Alison Pollentine said the school has made a number of efficiencies since 2010 - and there is ‘very little’ scope for more cutbacks without impacting on the students.

And while class sizes are growing nationally, they are shrinking in pockets of East Devon. The lack of building in the Sid Valley is having a knock-on effect on the school’s budget.

Mrs Pollentine said: “Sidmouth College, along with all other schools, has suffered a significant worsening of its 2016/17 financial position due to government decisions. All schools have been making efficiencies and cuts since 2010, so there is very little scope for more without increasing class sizes, cutting resources or taking other measures that will have an impact of outcomes for children.”

She said that while student numbers are increasing nationally, in pockets of East Devon they are falling.

Sidmouth College is particularly affected by this, with the majority of new building taking place outside of the Sid Valley – putting a ‘significant’ strain on the school’s budget.

And as a result of the Autumn Statement, Sidmouth College will have to pay another £45,000 towards its teachers’ pensions in 2016/17 and another £63,000 in National Insurance contributions.

It is making a one per cent pay award for all staff without any additional funding to pay for it, costing approximately £35,000, plus general inflation with any extra funding, setting it back around £40,000.

Mrs Pollentine said all schools in Devon face a ‘cash flat’ funding agreement in 2016/17, so they will have to wait another year to see whether the introduction of a national funding formula will help alleviate the budgetary position.

Employers will also have to pay the national living wage from April 2016 – a minimum hourly rate that will incrementally increase to £9 by 2020. Mrs Pollentine said this is also likely to have a large impact on school finances over the next few years and result in higher wage increases right up the pay scale.

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