Credit Crisis and its effect on education


What might be the effects of the credit crisis on education?.  Sorry of this seems overly negative but sometimes you can only prepare for the future if you try to imagine it. Here’s my list in no particular order:

1. More pupils may come into the state education system from the independent sector – some independent schools may face closure;

2. More males may sign up for entry into the profession as it might appear to offer more job security than other private sector work.

3. More entries to the profession from those who have been made redundant in the financial and other sectors.

4. Teachers may feel under greater stress due to financial pressures, leading to absence and other related consequences.

5. Education may suffer from more industrial action in support of pay increases.

6. More school leavers may take gap years to raise money for their university education.

7. Fewer students may enter university education due to financial concerns.

8. More students may enter university as a way of delaying the need for employment for a few years.

9. Banks may be less inclined to engage in the provision of student loans.

10. Students might stay on longer at school to avoid entering a depressed employment market.

11. More children will walk, cycle or take public transport to schools as opposed to being driven by their parents.

12. A reduction in foreign trips offered by schools

13. Reduction in the number of students wanting to learn a trade, e.g. joinery, due to the depressed building industry.

14. Worsening of student behaviour in school as they are negatively affected by stress at home and a reduction in the level of material goods they have come to expect.

15. School closures

16. State schools might have less to spend on education if their grant from the government were reduced – in a worst case scenario this would have wide ranging impact on the way we can deliver education – these effects might include:

  • More reliance upon virtual learning environments;
  • School mergers;
  • Reduction in the length of the school week;
  • …..?
  • …..?
  • …..?
  • …..?
  • …..?

Any other suggestions?

PS Check out the meltdown scenario in this OECD document








4 thoughts on “Credit Crisis and its effect on education

  1. Not every point is negative.

    Points 1–3 & 11 have their positive side.
    Points 6–8 &10, depending on individual circumstances, could go either way.
    Points 4,5, 9 & 12-16 seem unconditionally negative.

    I read the OECD document. The main thing I learned is that I must be a text-based, as opposed to visual, learner. The diagrams meant nothing to me!

    Some scenarios read more positively than others.

    The ‘LEARNING NETWORKS AND THE NETWORK SOCIETY’ scenario sounds exciting – if terribly vague. Insecure times generally mitigate against willing leaps into an uncertain future. The transformation between “teachers” and “new learning professionals” may seem a difficult basis on which to feed mouths and pay bills. Might this put teaching in the “secondary wage” category?

    The ‘SCHOOLS AS CORE SOCIAL CENTRES’ scenario contains the most grim phrase in the entire document: “Schools enjoy widespread recognition as the most effective bulwark against fragmentation in society and the family.” Given the recognition that family support matters more than school, this casts a pale light on things.

    Other suggestions?

    Could it be that some pupils will jump ship at the chance of a job while it’s going as opposed to staying on at school in the hope of working towards what might feel like possibly unusable qualifications?

    I can foresee some problems for musical children/families. Many pupils receive free tuition at school on one instrument – the maximum allowed – and private tuition (outside school) on a 2nd and perhaps even 3rd instrument. Tightened purse strings may see a diminution in multi-instrumentalist pupils with possible consequences for Music as a certificate subject and school concerts. Many families view the purchase of an instrument as a fair contribution to many years of free tuition. This might continue to seem reasonable but simply be less affordable.

    Bonding between staff may have to rely less on “nights out” to oil the social wheels.

    I’m all for technology and “virtuality” but no amount of high definition, surround sound, second life can replace the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, temperatures, genuine distance and excitement of a foreign trip for pupils – and staff.

  2. This has been on my mind. At first I wondered if I was being unduly pessimistic, but it looks likely to be the biggest step-change in the external environment in recent years, so we should have contingency plans in place.

    Perhaps it’s something that should go on the Agenda for the next meeting of the EL Association of Parent Council Reps?

  3. I agree with you Alan, who could argue that point 11 wouldn’t be good for children!

    Both mine walk about a mile to and from school most days and I think it does them good. They’re the sort of children who don’t like doing sport or joining clubs, so a fast trot home is just the thing.

    Of course, if it’s pouring with rain, we sometimes weaken….

  4. Another good/positive point might be an increase in demand from students (and teachers) to understand WHY this is happening. Context is all: teaching Modern Studies means I’m never too far from issues like this with any class – from S1 to S6. Students in Higher and AH classes are asking me: why is something so important as the banking system being left to the private sector. Students in S1/S2 are asking: what is a recesion.

    Hence my take would be an increase in the numbers of schools offering Economics at Int 2/Higher. As cheaply as possible in the current climate, of course.


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