UNISON is warning that plans to cut up to 140 jobs at six schools in Harlow “will put the quality of children’s education at risk”.
The schools in the Essex town are all run by the Burnt Mill Academy Trust, and the union is in talks with the trust, while also campaigning publicly.
As part of that campaign, UNISON Eastern region has launched an online petition at change.org, which has so far been backed by more than 500 people.
UNISON area organiser Emma Aboubaker says the union and staff are “dismayed and concerned at the huge cuts planned.
“140 key support staff, including teaching assistants, administrators, learning mentors, site managers, cleaners and midday assistants are in danger of losing their jobs.
“UNISON believes any cuts will put the quality of children’s education at risk as well as have a big impact on the local community and economy.”
Negotiations are taking place between the union and the trust, but members have stated their concerns over plans to replace teaching assistant jobs with care assistants, who are paid less.
A teaching assistant at one of the trust’s schools said: “I believe in providing our students with the best resources to succeed at school, by omitting the role of support for students and teachers the quality of their learning will diminish and ultimately some learners will struggle to access the curriculum altogether.”