Staff may be offered voluntary redundancy

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Many secondary school headteachers are preparing to offer their staff voluntary redundancy or early retirement in anticipation of huge cuts to their budgets in the next financial year, reports the Guardian.

The general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, Brian Lightman, said headteachers were facing difficult decisions and that many had started to discuss the likelihood of job losses with their staff's union representative. This included plans to reduce the subjects offered to pupils if staff were lost.

Mr Lightman said: "Many (headsteachers) are consulting with their unions over early retirement and voluntary redundancy schemes."

"If you think you are going to have to reduce your staffing then you have to make every effort to consult with your staff and unions. This is what schools are doing."

The Department for Education has said no school will see reductions in funding of more than 1.5% per pupil and has promised local authorities that they will not be cut by more than 2% even if they have a falling number of pupils.

A spokesman for the DfE said: "Ministers are clear that this is the best possible settlement for schools considering the dire public finances. It protects cash levels nationally for every single pupil to cover rising numbers and demand for places, with the pupil premium on top for those that need the most support. We know that hard decisions may have to be made locally – that's why we've put in additional budget protections at school and local authority level."

"Heads know the needs of their school and where their money needs to be spent to have the biggest impact on schools – that's why we're expanding the academy programme to give them complete autonomy over their budgets and stripping out ringfences from local authority schools funding so they can target cash where it is most needed."

Professional Development Today
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