Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YOGAZ to 80360 or send an email»
Norton Primary School jobs at risk in funding shake-up plan
NORTON Primary School is facing a massive decrease in its annual budget over the next two years – despite an increase in the number of pupils.
Staff have been told that the whole school faces a major staffing restructure as it is left with a budget deficit of £85,000 this year, rising to £160,000 in the next two years.
Possible cutbacks include two teaching posts and the reduction in hours of other staff, as well as a review of extra-curricular activities.
In a joint letter to North Yorkshire County Council, representatives of the four main teaching unions said there was collective concern about the situation at Norton Primary and threat of redundancy. “Parents may well worry that class sizes will increase when they become aware of the redundancies. However, this is unlikely to happen as some of the rooms are so small that no more children can be accommodated,” the union says in its letter. “We are asking, firstly that the local authority looks again at this financial situation of the school and, secondly, that it explains how a 27 per cent increase in children is not matched by a pro rata increase in funding.”
Major changes to school budgets were announced by the county council last October following changes to Government funding.
While some will see an increase in funding, others, including Norton and the four secondary schools in the area, face cuts of up to £159,000. The figures were identified in a county council document outlining the impact of the new funding methods, which are intended to make budgets more fair and simple but pose challenges, particularly for rural schools.
Liz Parker, headteacher of Norton Primary, said: “Our concern is that the school has an additional 100 pupils since this time last year due to the number of new houses that are being built in the town. However, due to the change in funding formula, we are faced with looking at a restructuring of the school staff following a consultation period, and are looking at alternative solutions to minimise the impact.”
A spokesperson for North Yorkshire County Council said: “Norton Primary is going through a consultation process over changes to support staffing and is being supported through that process by the local authority.”
Norton county councillor Stephen Shaw said they had lobbied the Government but “their hands were tied”.