Redbridge teachers fear schools will lose a fifth of staff in cuts

Teachers fear budget cuts will lead to schools losing one fifth of staff and lead to the “creeping break up” of the education system.

Headteachers were among the hundreds of members of the Redbridge Teachers Association (RTA) who joined The March for the Alternative protest in central London on Saturday, unhappy at the effects of the spending cuts on their pupils and sweeping changes to their own pensions.

The RTA president, Bob Archer, is a semi-retired teacher at Ilford County High School, Fremantle Road, Barkingside, and a seasoned campaigner.

Speaking at the march he said: “We are worried about the creeping break up of the state education system and the way that private business is getting a hand in.

“Now, with the Downshall Centre (in Alborough Road South, Seven Kings) closing people are starting to listen.”

Mr Archer said that cuts made by the government are already hitting front line teaching in the borough’s schools, adding: “The head teachers haven’t got the resources to run the schools so they are starting to make staff redundant.

“We will be teaching more hours in the classroom and A-level groups will have less time so we have got to teach the course quicker. Of course this will affect achievement.”

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Mr Archer also said that staff are unhappy about changes to their pensions which will see them paying more money, working longer, but for a lower payout after they retire.

Stuart McConnell, 36, has been teaching history and politics at Oaks Park School, Oak Lane, Newbury Park for four years.

He said: “Anyone who works within schools is already seeing cuts - and the idea that front line services are being protected is a nonsense.

“Another thing that makes people angry is how inequitable the cuts are being imposed upon us.”

Speaking at the time of the spending review last October, Michael Gove said he was “protecting the frontline, handing power to teachers and introducing a pupil premium for the poorest.”

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