Wigan school forced to axe staff to plug hole in its budget

A cash-strapped primary school has been forced to axe staff to plug a huge hole in its budget.

Thursday, 4th April 2019, 2:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th April 2019, 3:14 pm
St Paul's CofE Primary School
St Paul's CofE Primary School

Alison Jackson, the head teacher at St Paul’s CE Primary School in Goose Green, says the governing body had no other option but to make seven staff redundant after having to save a staggering £100,000.

The news comes after it was revealed that more than 1,000 councillors have written to the Education Secretary to urge the Government to pump billions of extra funding into schools.

The letter states: “Many schools are now desperately overwhelmed as more and more students are competing for fewer and fewer resources. Compounded by biting cuts to local council services, in addition to the teacher recruitment and retention crisis, the current settlement is not tenable.”

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Headteachers have long-complained about squeezed budgets forcing them to go cap in hand to parents for extra cash and basic supplies, while some have shortened the school week.

In a letter sent out to parents Mrs Jackson said: “Sadly due to national cuts to school budgets, our school has been put in the position of having to save £100,000 from its budget.

“This has meant regretfully that the difficult decision has had to be taken by our governing body to make some staffing posts redundant.”

The posts being made redundant are: the pastoral manager and pastoral assistant, two part-time teaching assistants, a lunchtime supervisor and two one-to-one support staff. They will leave at Easter.

The school’s caretaker will also be leaving after 18 years, having decided to retire to spend more time with his family.

Mrs Jackson said: “It is very upsetting that our school has to let such dedicated staff go, but unfortunately we’ve had no option but to do this because of the national picture, and the budget for education.”

She added: “That’s the message we want to get out to parents, is that this is a national issue.”

The letter also stated that the remaining school staff structure would be reorganised to ensure disruption to school life was kept to a minimum, but that “losing seven experienced and pivotal members of our school team will unfortunately have an impact.”

Yvonne Fovargue, MP for Makerfield, in whose constituency the school sits, said schools should never be put in the position of having to cut staff and branded the issue “a national disgrace”.

She said: “98 per cent of local schools face cuts to their budgets and the sad outcome of this scandalous statistic is that a whole generation of young people are being failed by the sustained underfunding of education.

“It is a national disgrace that our schools have been placed in this position and I am desperately sorry for the staff who through no fault of their own are facing redundancy.

“Headteachers and governors face an unenviable task of balancing the books and they should never have been placed in this position.”