The branch has been supporting members recently in 18 schools (listed below) as they negotiate new restructures, often putting jobs at risk.
It’s not just the number of jobs potentially impacted in these schools that shows the whole picture of the level of cuts West Sussex schools face. Many schools are also making significant ‘under the radar’ cuts to try to make ends meet, such as not replacing staff who leave and ending full-time contracts.
- Angmering High
- Barnham Primary
- Barns Green Primary, Horsham
- Bartons Primary, Bognor Regis
- Bishop Tufnell, Bognor Regis
- Bourne Community College
- Copthorne Junior
- Hawthorns Primary, Worthing
- Jolesfield CE Primary, Partridge Green
- Lyminster Primary
- Midhurst Primary
- Rumboldswhyke CE Infants, Chichester
- Springfield, Worthing
- St Andrew’s School for Boys, Worthing
- St Margaret’s Primary (Nursery), Crawley
- St Mary’s Catholic Primary, Worthing
- West Hoathley CE Primary
- Worthing High
The headteacher at St. Wilfrid’s in Crawley, Michael Ferry, was recently featured in The Guardian as a case study showing the acute situation his school is facing. In that interview he said:
“We have had to save in the region of half a million pounds by not replacing staff who have left. That’s £500,000 saved, and we still need to find more. I can’t rule out having to make similar savings in the future. Support staff have been reduced over time. I found out yesterday I will have 20 students with education, health and care plans (EHCPs). It’s going to be really tight for us just to meet our statutory requirements.
“The knock-on effect is that children who would have got extra support a few years ago are getting more limited support. Students who, five or six years ago, would have had a teaching assistant in a small class of possibly 10 to 12 students, if they needed extra one-to-one support, that’s not now going to happen.
“That is the serious reality. If we can’t do something that’s cost-neutral or close to it, then we can’t do it at all.”
Needless to say, the UNISON West Sussex branch is actively involved in supporting all our members in these restructures and will fight to retain as many jobs as possible. We still maintain our close links with the ‘Save Our Schools West Sussex’ parents’ campaign.