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Teacher lay-offs ‘inevitable’ in local schools

Created on 11/04/2011 @ 14:17
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More than 1,000 less pupils will be in secondary education in Powys in 2015, making teacher cuts inevitable as the county gets to grip with a shortage of funding.
The number has been revealed by Powys County Council to explain why it is looking to reconfigure how Secondary and Post 16 learning should be organised and delivered in the future.
And the balance sheet makes grim reading. Powys says that up to 12 out of 13 schools will face budget deficits by 2014 and points the finger at dwindling support from the Welsh Assembly Government.
A council insider told us: “The Council is concerned about real risks to maintaining the high standards of education for all Powys learners as the impact of continuously low settlements from the Welsh Assembly Government over recent years bears directly on all educational services, including schools.
“There are further major concerns, about the financial impact on schools that is the result of the year on year drop in pupil numbers. The Council is planning for pupil numbers to drop by around 1000 by 2015.
“All 13 secondary head teachers have been working closely with the Council over the past 18 months and more to address the impact of reduced funding on staffing, class sizes, the number of subjects being taught, extra-curricular activity and more. All head teachers have been taking very difficult decisions to address budget pressures and manage their delegated budget.
“There is a view that because a school is in a budget deficit position this must be the result of mismanagement. It is the case that 12 out of the 13 secondary schools are projected to be in a budget deficit position by 2014.The county council does not share this view of mismanagement knowing how head teachers and governing bodies have been addressing and will continue to address their financial pressures.
“Any loss of staff in this process is regrettable but the stark reality is that the combination of poor financial settlements and falling pupil numbers makes this inevitable. Powys County Council will continue to do all it can to reduce the risks of compulsory redundancies.”
Ongoing meetings have been held across the county to discuss secondary education with a decision expected on the future roadmap later in the year.
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