Teacher posts cut to balance school books

YSGOL Bro Gwaun has had to axe 12 teaching posts and increase class sizes as it looks to balance its books.

A report by the Director for Children and Schools came before Pembrokeshire County Council’s Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on January 23, revealing the financial pressures the secondary school is under.

At the end of the financial year in 2011, the school had a healthy bank balance of £155,852, but this has steadily fallen each year with the school reporting a £41,936 deficit at the end of March last year. The projected deficit for the end of this financial year is £92,750.

The financial position is a result of falling pupil numbers and a reduction in sixth form funding.

Pupil numbers have fallen from 625 in 2012/2013 to 617 in 2013/2014, and the projected number for the coming year is 582.

The report states: “The school has taken decisive action to return to a balances budget position, having reduced the number of groups in each year group from five to four in years 7, 8 and 9, from September 2013, reducing the number of teachers by 12 (with associated one off redundancy costs), and also increased use of shared resources via federated provisions for some sixth form courses.”

It added: “The school has agreed a three year licensed deficit of up to £98,000 with the authority to return to surplus by March 2016. Current projections show that they are on course to return to surplus by March 2015. The headteacher and governing body are working well to return the school to a surplus position.”

Ysgol Bro Gwaun’s recovery plan will continue to be monitored by the head of business services on a termly basis until the school is able to balance its books. This, the report states, will be a considerable challenge to the school if pupil numbers continue to fall.

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