Parents of pupils attending Penarth’s popular Evenlode Primary School have been told that there are to be “compulsory redundancies” at the school.
Evenlode is being hit-hard by cuts imposed by the former Labour administration in the Vale of Glamorgan Council following diktats from the Welsh Assembly Labour Government which has slashed school budgets across Wales.
Evenlode’s chair of governors Ceri Griffiths had already warned parents that “We have received a cut to an already stretched budget at a time when general costs are rising and to avoid a deficit, we now have to make substantial savings.” The only way to make these savings, is to look at staffing, which accounts for over 90% of the budget. We have cut all other expenditure to ‘the bone’ and we have allocated just £15,000 for teaching resources which equates to £33 per child.”
Mr Griffiths had told the parents that “There is no money whatsoever for staff training” and that although “teaching jobs are secure this year” – support staff are to be reduced , and school trips will be “severely curtailed” .
Now, in a new circular released to parents last week, he has confirmed to parents the true scale of the economies she is having to make at Evenlode.
A total of 8 support staff are to leave the school in July – comprising 3 LSAs , 3 lunchtime supervisors and 2 other supervisors. Mr Griffiths says “Such actions obviously deal a severe blow to morale, but will also impact on how the school operates” – and sets out the following list of knock-on effects:-
- Classroom Assistants will from September, oversee lunchtimes.
- In addition to reduction in numbers,classroom assistants will spend less time supporting children in class and ‘targeted support’ for individual children and small groups will be reduced.
- There will be less support for all teachers and it is very likely that ‘extra-curricular’ activities will also be reduced.
- School trips and sporting fixtures will be reduced
- To help ‘balance the books,’ insurance for teacher absence will be removed, saving nearly £20,000. This means there will be more onus on classroom assistants to cover short-term absences
- The money which the school receives to staff Foundation Phase classes and provide training for staff has also been cut. This means that there will be no money again this year for staff training.
- The release of teachers to attend meetings and courses and to work with other schools will also be limited
- Money for teaching resources has been cut by 50%
- Money for repairs/ maintenance of the school is reduced to £3,000
- Money for school furniture is £1,000
- To help raise money, the Governors have agreed to second Evenlode’s deputy headteacher to work 3 days-a-week on outside training duties .
Mr Griffiths says “We must stress that the school will do its very best to maintain standards and provision and other schools in the cluster and across the Vale of Glamorgan are in similar predicaments. However, due to Evenlode being traditionally the lowest funded school in the Vale, we are being particularly badly hit.”