Cuts and falling pupil numbers put high school jobs under threat

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Staff reporter

JOBS could be under threat at two of Wrexham’s high schools as budget cuts loom and pupil numbers dwindle.

The national teachers’ union NASUWT has revealed that Rhosnesni and Rhiwabon high schools have appealed for help from the union to deal with the complications of trying to maintain staff numbers while facing an income deficit.

Suzanne Nantcurviz, the union’s national executive member for North Wales, has expressed concerns about the future of both schools.

She said: “I have had formal notification from these schools that there is a potential for redundancies and I know both are looking at staffing cuts to make savings.

“But I’m pleased with how talks are going at Rhosnesni and feel the headteacher and governors are working hard to make the right decision.

“I’m confident they will avoid compulsory redundancy and appeals for voluntary redundancy and voluntary retirement will be exhausted before any forced action is taken.”

But the union representative admitted she was more concerned about Rhiwabon High. She said: “The situation is more difficult there and I know they’re considering the loss of teaching jobs but the union is doing its best to safeguard jobs.

“A school’s most precious resource is its staff and hopefully the governors will remember that when making their decisions.”

Ms Nantcurviz also claimed both schools were facing a drop in pupil numbers which in turn could lead to reduced funding from the Welsh Assembly Government.

“We have already seen this happen in a number of primary schools and now it is affecting some secondary schools too.

“Rhiwabon particularly has seen a drop in the number of over-16s.”

Cllr Marc Jones, a member of Wrexham Council’s children and young people scrutiny committee, said any decision to make compulsory redundancies at schools would be the responsibility of the schools’ governors, not the local authority.

John Davies, the authority’s head of lifelong learning, said: “Wrexham Council is in regular dialogue with schools during these challenging financial times.

“We will make every effort to avoid compulsory job losses by working with schools to implement redeployment and voluntary redundancy policy procedures for teachers.”

See full story in the Leader

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