JOB CUTS AT SCHOOL

Joseph Johnston, principal of Lurgan Junior High School. INLM4711-134gc
Joseph Johnston, principal of Lurgan Junior High School. INLM4711-134gc

FOUR teaching posts have been axed at Lurgan Junior High School.

Principal Joe Johnston said the cuts had been forced by financial pressures on the school, but assured parents the provision of education would not suffer.

The ‘MAIL’ understands six teachers will be leaving the school as of September 1.

However, two of those members of staff who are leaving had been brought in to cover career breaks for two teachers who will be returning in September. So in real terms the school is shedding four teachers.

Three of those teachers were full time, while one was part time (three days a week). It’s believed two of the redundancies were voluntary, while the other two were compulsory.

In September the school will have the same amount of pupils as last year (617), but the reduction in teaching staff means some classes will be reorganised.

In terms of school budget, Lurgan Junior High School gets £2,336,623 under the current funding formula which when divided by its 617 pupils gives a total of £3,789 per pupil.

As the principal pointed out, this compares very unfavourably with some post primary schools who get up to £1,200 more per pupil.

Mr Johnston said: “These austere times have resulted in our governors having to make staff redundant with effect from September 1.

“This has also resulted in us having to plan to increase class size next year from the traditional size of 20 up to 25 in some cases.”

He added: “I am confident that our status as a unique specialist non selective Key Stage 3 school will remain unchanged and we will be able to build on our excellent reputation for innovation, development and serving the needs of all children.”