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Union official's school to cut jobs

THE Birmingham school where a high-ranking national teacher union official is chair of governors is planning to axe three teachers and two support staff.

Chris Keates, assistant general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, has just written on behalf of governors to trade unions about the proposal - as she is obliged to do.

She is chair of governors at Yardley Wood junior and infant school in Birmingham and cites a serious budget deficit as the reason for the move.

The school is planning to terminate the temporary contracts of three teachers and get rid of two lunchtime supervisors from the end of the summer term. Both have reached 65.

Jacek Wieczerzak, head of the 385-pupil school for three to 11-year-olds, is attempting to convene a meeting between the relevant unions to discuss the proposal.

"Nothing has been decided yet," he said. "We have had to inform all the trade unios whether their members are involved or not. I'm sure that these people are in a union but they haven't told me."

He said budget problems were fairly widespread throughout Birmingham schools.

Mrs Keates, meanwhile, has said that governors at the school are prepared to consider "accelerators" for voluntary redundancy.

She was not available for comment this week but a spokeswoman for Birmingham Council said reasons for the proposed job cuts were not common to all city schools.

"The situation at Yardley Wood junior and infants is one of falling pupil numbers and other factors unique to the school." She refused to divulge what the "other factors" were.

But the city council said it had passed on all of the extra money the Government allocated to Birmingham for education as well as fully funding the teachers' pay award.

She added the amount of money given to schools by the council had been "very positive".

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