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Teachers jobs at risk as West Sussex budgets £1m for redundancies
More than a £1million of school redundancies are being budgeted for in the next three years.
On top of national public sector cuts West Sussex County Council is preparing for an increased cost of redundancy because of fluctuating pupil numbers.
But a teaching union warned that the county is preparing for a pupil population hike in the coming years where more teachers could then be required.
At its children’s and young people’s select committee, the authority said it is budgeting for £750,000 of redundancies in 2012/2013 “arising from pupil number changes”.
It said these changes are also expected to cost a further £400,000 from 2013/2014 onwards.
The forecast is on top of possible school redundancies following public sector cuts.
The council needs to find £79 million of savings over the next three years from its £1 billion budget.
Drop in numbers The National Union of Teachers (NUT) said secondary schools in the county are seeing a drop in pupil numbers currently as the last of a population spike finishes school.
However, they said another “bulge” is on its way.
Chris Miles, secretary of the joint consultative committee, which is made up of teaching unions, said: “Pupil numbers fluctuate. At the moment secondary schools are just about to lose a large bulge in numbers which came in 11 years ago.
“Across the county there will be a general slight drop in pupil numbers. That may not be reflected locally in many schools, where demand is going up."
A spokesman for the local authority said: “The figures are being budgeted for because we anticipate there might be redundancies in 2012/13 because of cost pressures in secondary schools arising from reduced pupil numbers for next year, and a cash frozen budget settlement from the government next year despite increasing costs.”
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