Leven Primary School could be forced to cut six teaching assistant roles
SIX members of staff face the threat of redundancy at a cash-strapped East Riding primary school and more schools could be forced into job cuts, a union has warned.
Leven Primary School has issued redundancy warnings to six teaching assistants as it looks to save £130,000 over three years.
Head teacher Andrew Dolman is blaming the loss of a funding subsidy for infant classes and says other schools could also be affected.
The GMB is urging Leven Primary School to protect jobs but Mr Dolman says the school has been forced to look at staff cuts to balance its books.
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Mr Dolman said: "The Government has suddenly got rid of a subsidy for infant classes which has chopped £40,000 off our budget.
"We are looking at trying to find savings of about £130,000 over three years.
"Nearly 87 per cent of our school budget goes on salaries – there are no other areas that can be cut back.
"This will affect schools right across the East Riding. We are now the third worst-funded education authority in the country."
Mr Dolman said the school, which employs 30 people including seven teaching assistants, must balance its books to avoid going into the red.
He pointed out Gembling Primary is facing closure by the council because it is set to plunge into deficit next year.
He said: "We have no choice, we have to balance our books.
"We are a large village school with 163 pupils but we are small compared with town schools and, in terms of budget, we are always working towards the edge.
"We feel fortunate we are not in the situation of Gembling and other primary schools facing possible closure, we won't be in that position."
Mr Dolman said his school's governors are still looking at ways of trying to avoid compulsory redundancies.
He said: "These are people I care about.
"They are in a selected pool for redundancy. However, we are still considering and hoping to find ways that don't involve compulsory redundancy."
GMB organisation officer Ester Marriott fears jobs could be at risk at schools across the East Riding.
She said: "I have never seen wholesale cuts like this before.
"I am going to schools every other day at the moment."
Miss Marriott is urging Leven Primary to protect jobs.
She said: "If these redundancies are confirmed it will be a body blow for the children and teachers alike.
"So many of the children need the individual support the teaching assistants provide.
"Teachers have an incredibly demanding job as it is, without the extra burden of preparing all the resources for lessons on top of the planning, marking and assessment that they already do."