Cuts to teaching assistants as Exeter Road Primary School warns support for children will be stretched thinner
PUBLISHED: 14:18 15 July 2019 | UPDATED: 12:49 16 July 2019
An Exmouth primary school is cutting the number of teaching assistants this summer in the wake of funding cuts.
As staff at Exeter Road Primary School gear up for the end of term, some teaching assistants have taken voluntary redundancy.
The school said it does not want to lose any staff 'but the reality is we must'.
When pupils return for the new term in September, the school will have four less teaching assistants, making the total number 14. As recently as April 2017 the school had 24.
Headteacher Paul Gosling said cuts in government funding have forced the school to make staffing changes to plug an £85,000 gap in its 2018-19 budget.
The Department for Education says, under the 'fairer formula', schools in Devon have received a 2.7 per cent boost in funding in 2018-19 but Mr Gosling said in 'real terms' the school's budget is down eight per cent on 2013-14.
A newsletter to parents said the school has 'reluctantly' had to look at reducing the number of school staff members through a redundancy process.
The newsletter said: "Reducing the number of teaching assistants will mean that the support that we provide for children will be stretched thinner and teacher's workload will likely increase.
"The school does not want to lose any of its skilled teaching assistant team, but the reality is that we must."
According to government statistics, the school received £4,132 per pupil in 'real terms' in 2018-19 - compared to £4,520 in 2013-14.
This is a 8.6 per cent cut when inflation is taken into account.
A Department for Education spokesman said: "While we have made funding fairer, we know schools face budgeting challenges, which is why we have introduced a wide range of support to help schools reduce costs and get the best value from their resources.
"The Secretary of State has made clear that as we approach the next spending review, he will back head teachers to have the resources they need to deliver a world class education in the years ahead."