Welwyn Garden City school denies redundancy plan

Applecroft School.

Applecroft School. - Credit: Archant

The headteacher of a Welwyn Garden City primary school has denied it is planning to make five teaching assistants redundant to balance its books.

Lisa Withe, headteacher of Applecroft school, admitted it was considering money-saving options, but said the accusation in anonymous emails sent to the Welwyn Hatfield Times was “incorrect”.

She said: “We are facing the same situation as many schools across Hertfordshire, and indeed the whole country, in having to manage a significant and sudden cut in government funding for the 17/18 academic year and subsequent years.

“As a direct result of the strong financial management of the school we have achieved a balanced budget for the 17/18 academic year and are reviewing our current support staff structure to ensure that, moving forward, it not only meets the needs of our children but is also financially viable.

“At this stage we are modelling solutions to meet the future funding shortfall; nothing has been decided upon.”

The school plans substantial refurbishment, but Mrs Withe said cancelling this to save cash was not an option.

She explained: “The school has been planning refurbishment to the learning environment for a number of years and has put aside money for this purpose.

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“Over the last 18 months plans have been drawn up to deliver the refurbishments.

“The school is already committed to the building works and to pull out would bring additional expense. The building work is needed to meet the needs of our children.”