Schools facing more job losses

Buckshaw Primary School in Astley village
Buckshaw Primary School in Astley village
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Headteachers and school governors from across Lancashire joined forces yesterday to formulate a plan of action against budget cuts.

Headteachers and school governors from across Lancashire joined forces yesterday to formulate a plan of action against budget cuts.

LEP/CHORLEY  15-03-17
Leaders of regional NAHT from left, Robert Kelshall, Andy Mellor and Tony Roberts.
Meetings were held around the country today by National Association of Head Teacher (NAHT) as governors debate how to appose the �3bn cuts to school budgets, the North West meeting held at Woodlands Conference Centre, Chorley.

LEP/CHORLEY 15-03-17 Leaders of regional NAHT from left, Robert Kelshall, Andy Mellor and Tony Roberts. Meetings were held around the country today by National Association of Head Teacher (NAHT) as governors debate how to appose the �3bn cuts to school budgets, the North West meeting held at Woodlands Conference Centre, Chorley.

Organised by the National Association of Headteachers, two meetings of more than 180 members heard schools fear job cuts and bigger class sizes as a result of an estimated £3bn shortfall in the government’s national education budget over the next three years.

School leaders say it is estimated that the county could lose around £440 per pupil, a total of over £68m as a whole, by 2020 – the equivalent of 1,841 average teacher salaries.

The meetings were told: “The impact on learning will be significant.”

Class sizes in primary schools could rise and some GCSE and A-level subjects could be cut from the curriculum entirely as school budgets are “pushed beyond breaking point.”

Schools say they are already suffering and Karen Stephens, headteacher at Buckshaw Primary School in Astley Village, near Chorley, said she has already had to cut teaching assistant jobs and fears more pressures on the budget will lead to classes of 40 pupils.

Mrs Stephens said: “I can make no more ‘efficiency’ savings.”

She added: “My forecast therefore is an overall 12 per cent funding shortfall of around £102,000, which is a loss of £517 per pupil.

“This can only result in further cuts to staffing.

“I lost five teaching assistants at the end of 2015/16 and this will force me to cut either the majority of my remaining support staff or will involve losing teaching staff, ensuring Buckshaw has classes of nearly 40.”