More teacher jobs to go at secondary

PUBLISHED: 18:00 21 June 2016

School children

School children

(c) Jetta Productions

A Somerset school is facing a second wave of teacher redundancies after receiving ‘no help’ from the Government over rising costs.

The Mercury understands two long-serving PE teachers will leave their roles at Kings of Wessex School in Cheddar at the end of the academic year next month, at the same time that the school’s drama department closes, a move which was announced earlier this year.

Both come as a result of financial pressures, and the school has said ‘real-term reductions in Government funding’ were to blame for the cuts.

Robin Head, of the Somerset branch of the National Union of Teachers, said the problem had hit departments teaching ‘softer subjects’ across the country, and more problems could still follow.

He said: “It’s a national issue as well as a local one. This is a real problem for a lot of secondary schools, particularly those which have sixth forms, as Kings of Wessex does.

“A number have had to make redundancies this year in the smaller subject areas because of a lack of funding from the Government.

“They are keen to point out the amount of money is the same, but the schools have had to pick up other costs like raises in pension contributions to staff and there has been no help with that at all.

“It leaves schools like Kings of Wessex struggling. But there have been other jobs coming up in the school like a head of year role which could have been filled by these teachers made redundant, rather than sourcing from the outside.

“It’s very sad that two very experienced members of staff will be leaving. DT is being hit in other schools because it’s seen as a softer subject, as are PE and drama; it’s not what schools are judged on.”

The Mercury contacted Kings of Wessex who confirmed cutbacks would be made, but declined to comment on further details.

A spokesman for the school said: “In line with many other schools, we can confirm that we have been forced to make reductions in staffing for the forthcoming academic year as a consequence of ongoing real terms reductions in Government funding for schools.”

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