Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting HT NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Job fears at budget cuts hit Herefordshire schools
8:30am Monday 21st January 2013 in News
THE threat of job losses at a Herefordshire high school has highlighted the huge impact the Government’s new funding formula is having across the county.
Kingstone Academy has begun a 30-day consultation into staffing changes and possible redundancies.
Headteacher Keith Crawford told the Hereford Times the new funding formula, in force from April, coupled with Herefordshire’s changing demographic, will have a major effect on all county schools.
“It is obviously having a direct impact on us,” he said.
Sarah Deacon, a concerned parent whose two children attend Kingstone, fears “dramatic cost cutting measures in order to break even” could see the school’s science and sports departments scaled back.
“Education should be resourced and inspirational and not based upon fashionable grade catchers,” said Mrs Deacon.
According to council figures, six secondary schools and 13 primaries will see budgets slashed in 2013/14.
The changes were agreed by headteachers and govenors sitting on Herefordshire’s school forum following lengthy consulation.
To minimise the impact the government has agreed to ensure that until 2015 schools do not lose more than 1.5 per cent of their current funding.
Herefordshire Council, however, remains concerned about the long-term impact. Councillor Graham Powell, cabinet member for education, believes it will suffer as it has a higher proportion of primary schools than urban counties.
He has already encouraged small rural schools to seek out collaborative partnerships to help secure their own futures.
It is not yet known if any other schools are considering job cuts because of the changes.
“Our funding is down but with the nature of the community we serve, I don’t think we’re going to be drastically affected,” said Hereford Academy principal John Sheppard.