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Waiting for the axe to fall?! Pastoral teams to bear the brunt of education cuts?

Education will have to face up to the financial cuts that will come as a result of the financial crisis that has hit all sectors. Given the announcement by one political party that it will be ‘support staff’ who will need to be cut back, it is not surprising that we in pastoral teams believe it will be us who, yet again, will bear the burden of the changes ahead.

It is not so long ago that we were told that teachers must focus on the teaching and learning aspects and other staff were to take on the other roles needed to support our students. So we have set about building a team of staff and trained them to be effective in supporting young people through a whole range of needs. Gradually these staff have gained the respect and confidence of teaching colleagues as the effect of the work they do has made a positive impact on the behaviour and attitude of some students to their learning and more importantly the students and their parent/carers have become confident in the liaison and support available. Add to this the tremendous work that is now carried out by many support staff in association with other professionals; health, social care, police, mental health, Connexions, counselling to name but a few.

It has been a rocky road but at the point where I now believe things are working well and there is good teamwork between teachers and support staff, the structures are in jeopardy. It will be our students who will be hit hardest if these new pastoral teams are dismantled. All the positive work on behaviour and emotional wellbeing in particular will be affected and I cannot see who will be able to pick up the pieces this time.

How can we stave off the cuts?

How can we ensure the axe does not do irreparable damage to the fine balance that now exists?

Where shall we draw the line?…….

What are you planning. Perhaps you could share your thoughts with concerned colleagues.

Jae Bray
Deputy Headteacher

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