Risk management is critical to the success of needs-based education

A delicate balance in primary education: staffing levels and funding under pressure.

The successful adoption of needs-based education requires extra alertness, not just from the Minister and State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science, but also on the part of school governors. The balance between what is expected of primary schools and what they are actually capable of doing is a delicate one. The financial position of schools has weakened. Government funding for primary schools has fallen in recent years, at a time when there has not been a corresponding decline in expenditure. The current situation is that one in five school governing boards no longer have any financial reserves to fall back on. Some of them are even in debt. Further redundancies are inevitable in the years ahead.

These factors are combining to place pressure on the school partnerships created to manage the support services for some 400,000 children with effect from August 2014. A project like this is set to demand a great deal from primary school-teachers, particularly in a situation in which they may not receive the extra training they need and the number of teaching assistants is on the decline for financial reasons.