Teaching and support jobs are lost as schools battle with budget difficulties
TEACHERS and support staff in Neath Port Talbot have been made redundant in a bid to curb education budgets in the county.
A report presented to the authority's personnel committee said that in March, the school delegated budget saw an increase of 0.96 per cent from the previous year.
But, it said, in spite of the increase, 20 schools contacted Neath Port Talbot Council's HR department about potential budget difficulties.
Council head of human resources, Graham Jones, said that following discussions, eight schools were able to resolve financial problems by seeking voluntary redundancies from employees or ending temporary contracts.
But of the 12 unable to resolve difficulties, staff disciplinary and dismissal committees were held at two secondary and 10 primary schools.
As a result, 31.75 full-time employee reductions in staff numbers were identified in order to set budgets, including actual posts and reductions in hours of 15.25 teachers and 16.32 support staff.
"This included job losses, proposals to reduce hours of working, plans to change contracts from 52 weeks contracts to term time only and the cessation of some temporary contracts," said Mr Jones.
Of the teacher redundancies, 2.8 full-time positions were compulsory and seven were voluntary, with 8.6 support staff being made compulsorily redundant and 3.3 volunteering.
One teacher agreed to reduce their hours, with 12 support staff agreeing to reduce theirs and temporary contracts were ended for give people.
Some staff were redeployed as part of the process, with 3.5 teachers and 0.4 support staff positions being rearranged.
Mr Jones said following the process, HR would continue to work with schools, issues briefings on how schools can better forward plan at an earlier stage in the year to reduce the need for job losses.
"This includes the forward financial planning of school budgets, with head teachers supported by bursars.
"Where schools start to consider their budget position in a planned and considered way, at the earliest stage possible, it could prevent having to take action such as compulsory redundancy."