Primary school set to axe jobs due to drop in student numbers

Gusford Primary School, Ipswich

Gusford Primary School, Ipswich - Credit: Lucy Taylor

Staff at an Ipswich primary school are facing an anxious wait after its management said the workforce could be cut due to declining pupil numbers.

Active Learning Trust, which manages Gusford Community Primary School in Sheldrake Drive, has said it has launched a consultation over a "potential restructuring" of staff.

Bosses at the trust have said they will do "everything possible" to secure its future so it could continue to deliver an "excellent learning environment" for pupils.

Gusford Community Primary School provides education for more than 600 children, according to its website, and became an academy in 2013 with Active Learning Trust, which is also responsible for Chantry Academy in Ipswich.

However, a fall in student numbers in recent years has left the school facing a shortfall in income from the Department for Education.

Active Learning Trust said this decline was due to the "changing demographics" of Ipswich and was in spite of "positive progress" that had been made over the last few years.

The trust has not said which roles were part of the consultation.

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A spokesman for the Active Learning Trust said: "We are committed to supporting and working with Gusford Community Primary School so the standard of education for pupils at the school is high and a strong standard of teaching is maintained.

"Positive progress has been made in recent years. However, we are faced with the external challenge of a decline in the number of children attending the school due to the changing demographics of the area.

"As schools are funded based on the number of pupils, this leaves us with the prospect of lower annual funding from the Department for Education. As a responsible trust we need to do everything possible to ensure a financially secure future for the school and maintain an excellent learning environment for all pupils.

"Therefore, we have launched a formal consultation into the potential restructuring of staff based on this future expected need at Gusford Community Primary School. 

"The outcome of this consultation will inform any decision we make which at its core will be the provision of a sustainable future for the school with educational standards to be proud of."