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Redundancies under consideration at cash-strapped schools

14 Feb 2024 2 minute read
Redundancies are being considered by cash-strapped schools

Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter

Council officials have confirmed that redundancies are being considered by schools as they continue to grapple with balancing the books.

Principal accountant at Vale of Glamorgan Council, Gemma Jones, told members of the local authority’s learning and culture scrutiny committee that the council is working with schools to review their budget positions.

However, she said that redundancy proposals have been put forward by schools.

A member of the scrutiny committee, Councillor William Hennessy, prompted the discussion on redundancies when he asked if schools are expected to take that action amid ongoing financial difficulties.

Ms Jones said “a number of initiatives” have been put forward to try and help schools with their budgetary positions, including collective procurement.

Proposals

She added: “There have been redundancy proposals put forward by schools to address budgetary issues and that may continue, but that is just part of the solution to addressing the [pressures].

“There will be additional funding allocated to schools… but I understand that a lot of that additional funding will need to be allocated on pay pressures.”

The Vale School Governors Association (VSGA) told the same scrutiny committee in June 2023 that it expected most schools in the county to set deficit budgets for 2023/24.

With the council facing a £7m budget gap for the upcoming financial year, the situation for schools is not expected to improve.

Positive news

There was some positive news for local authorities in Wales when the Welsh Government announced last week that an additional £25m will be made available to support social care, schools and other pressure points in local communities.

The council’s director of learning and skills, Paula Ham, said that most of the money received by the council will likely need to be spent on social care.

She added: “Schools need to look at their budget, obviously on a school by school basis, and I am afraid some will find themselves in a position where they may need to make redundancies.

“I think the position will be tighter in the coming year, but we are looking at a number of initiatives to support schools… we acknowledge that it is a very difficult situation.”


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Mr Williams
Mr Williams
1 month ago

Just like in Conwy. Welsh Government needs to intervene. You can’t run a school without teachers. You can’t cater for children with ALN without Teaching Assistants.

For the sake of the future of Wales, Jeremy Miles, will you please step in?

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