Headteachers prepare for large-scale job losses

Despite the Coalition's insistence that spending on schools will increase, headteachers are preparing to make early cuts to their staff.

Rising class sizes and the weakening of some subject areas in the curriculum are likely to be among the outcomes of the cuts.

Britain's largest headteachers' union, the NAHT, has warned all its members to prepare for redundancies. Up to 15,000 of the 24,000 state schools in England Wales could face spending cuts, it reckons. Guidance sent out to members warns them to grasp the nettle early – to avoid the prospect of even heavier staffing cuts in the future.

Russell Hobby, the general secretary of the NAHT, said: "Every branch meeting that I have been going to, people have been asking me about how to cope with redundancies."

Teachers' leaders argue that many schools are facing cuts to pay for the new "pupil premium" – a £430 cash award to schools for every pupil they take in entitled to free school meals. Mr Hobby predicted that teaching assistants and senior managers were likely to bear the brunt of the costs: "There's a limit to the number of teachers you can do without."

Martin Freedman, head of pay and conditions at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, warned: "It will be difficult for the Government to defend teachers losing their jobs – but down the line there will be threats to them.

"Cutting teaching assistants and senior managers will take away a lot of the support from teachers – and schools and pupils will suffer."

Christina McAnea, the head of education at Unison, said cutting teaching assistants would harm the most vulnerable pupils. She added: "We are concerned about the support there will be for children from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with special educational needs."

Mr Hobby said the biggest impact would be on the morale of the staff: "The energy of the teachers is a big force in delivery. Making support staff redundant is not good for the relationship of the school with the local community. It is not good if – at the first sign of difficulty – you are making people who live in the community redundant."

Cutting senior management could leave some subject areas weaker, and is more likely to lead to a range of individual school initiatives being scrapped.

The guidance issued by the 28,000-strong NAHT to its members states: "The number of posts at risk of redundancy may increase if a decision is delayed – especially where the need has been identified because of a falling roll or a financial shortfall."

It goes on to urge heads to consider calling for volunteers or offering premature retirement to all teaching staff over the age of 55.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: We are currently looking for a Geog...

Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key Stage 1

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links