September 26th, 2016

Teaching assistant loss will hit most in need of help claims resident

Updated: 10:43 am, May 07, 2015

PUPILS who need extra help are set to suffer from the latest round of redundancies at the county council.

That was the claim from a resident who contacted the Standard to say four teaching assistant positions from within the learning support team in Worcestershire were being cut.

The team currently provides language and listening skills, phonics, motor skills and numeracy assistance in schools across the county where there are children with special needs.

The decision has been taken to make redundancies due to a reduction in activity and schools increasingly employing their own teaching assistants, although the resident – who did not wish to be named – said they still had full diaries and no recruitment had taken place for specialists within schools.

He said: “If the skills do not exist at present and training is not provided to existing staff, then the interventions cannot take place. Therefore, the pupils by not receiving the extra help required.

“If a budget is found to recruit those with the skills then Worcestershire County Council would still be funding extra resources. There would still be an issue in being able to provide the interventions during any interim period, which again will impact the pupils.

“The worst case scenario is that none of the schools currently accommodated by the learning support team will undertake any interventions. Therefore the children who are most needy will be the ones to suffer.”

Coun Liz Eyre, responsible for children and families at the council, said the reduction was proposed to reflect the ‘decreased demand’ from schools needing the service.

“With regard to any proposed redundancies, this is an HR matter and therefore it would be inappropriate for us to comment further on individual employees affected by this.”