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Alex Beverley comments on the redundancies of support staff at Goosewell School

  • Goosewell School proposes cutting their Meal Time Assistants and a reduction in Teaching Assistants
  • Schools across South West Devon have lost on average £71 per pupil
  • Unions are questioning the handling and process of the redundancy consultation
  • A Labour government would properly fund our schools and change the way schools and pupils are assessed

Alex Beverley, the Labour Parliamentary candidate for South West Devon, has been contacted by staff at the school and the unions representing them with concerns about the loss of support staff and the handling of the process.

Alex Beverley said,

“The support staff in our schools play an inestimable role, especially in a school like Goosewell where they have prioritised making sure it is a space accessible to our children with additional needs.  The handling of this process has devalued the amazing work of these staff and the proposal will put additional strain on the remaining teaching and support staff.

Our schools cannot keep using these short term measures of cutting staff or resources to plug the gap that Tory cuts have created in our schools.  We need a new approach that properly funds our schools and makes sure they have the staff and resources they need to give all of our children the best start in life.

In October, the Tory MP said this was a temporary change and linked it to recent Ofsted results.

The nature of current Tory education policy, testing and inspection does not account for the varying needs of our children and the data driven policies and Goveian obsession with antiquated education have made the workload for teachers and staff unsustainable.

Labour will abolish Ofsted and establish a new assessment body focused on genuine improvement and replace SATs with more appropriate means to support pupil progress.”

Angela Rayner, Shadow Secretary of State for Education was in the South West this week and in response to cuts to support staff she said:

“Teachers can’t teach without support staff. Yet again it is a whole generation of children, especially those who most need support, are paying the price for Tory cuts”.

“Support staff look after our children and play a vital role across our schools, and the government should look after them. It is these so-called support staff that transform our children’s lives.  Our hard-working support staff are the backbones of our schools and are absolutely vital to our children’s education and future.

“The next Labour government will end the Tory cuts and provide record investment in our schools so our hard-working staff can give our children the education they deserve.”

Matt Roberts, of GMB representing staff said

“Long serving dedicated staff from the local community who have given their all to the school have been left in tears by these proposals facing losing their job.

Any pupil, teacher or parent will tell you the vital role support staff play in schools and we need the government to properly fund our schools and make sure our children have the resources and support they need.  GMB will continue to work for their members in this school and across the education field.”

Kevin Treweeks, of Unison representing staff said

“This week UNISON’s have held Stars in our School day when we celebrate the great work our members do with kids all across the country.

We will be making a point of visiting Goosewell Primary where Reach South MAT are showing scant appreciation for the work of TAs and MTAs in particular do.

It is sad they are being forced to make cuts, and government must take responsibility for its funding policies over the last 10 years but the school is still responsible for how it responds to this.

Goosewell are targeting of the lowest paid staff in the structure (MTAs) for redundancy and piling extra work onto the next lowest paid group (TAs) who are also facing job losses.

UNISON will continue to stand by these members whatever the outcome of the election and is calling on REACHSW to halt consultation until after 12th Dec so that the local authority can be involved in helping them plan a more stable future.”