REDUNDANCIES at a Barnsley school are not as severe as first predicted, according to a letter from its executive principal.

Four weeks ago the Chronicle revealed that Oakhill Primary Academy was proposing to cut support staff by a third, with the removal of all teaching assistants from its key stage two classes - pupils aged seven to 11.

However after a consultation the school says it has been able to achieve a less significant restructure without making any compulsory redundancies.

The letter says: “A total of seven staff members will be leaving Oakhill at the end of the term - with one teacher, the learning mentor, one member of office staff and four support staff members’ requests for voluntary redundancy being accepted.
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“Three further support staff are reducing their hours, a step which has allowed us to retain support in 50 per cent of key stage two classrooms.”

Parent Jenny Severn said the situation looked better than first thought, but remained concerned. “I still think this is going to have a big impact on the school and children’s learning.

“We’ve yet to see exactly how this is going to work and how disruptive pupils and the ones who need most help are going to be supported.”

A meeting was held with parents on Thursday to explain the changes, and another is due to be held next week.

Executive principal Sam Bailey said: “I am grateful to now have the opportunity to meet with the parents. These meetings are allowing us to have open and honest dialogue about the matters which have arisen and establish the relationships between parents and school staff.”