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“Brutal cuts” will “create barriers” to children’s education Conwy councillor warns

A Conwy County Councillor (CCBC) has spoken out about the impending cuts to schools in the County as budgets are squeezed.

Conwy’s schools could be set to receive a funding cut of 4 per cent for the next financial year, which equates to figures of more than £400,000 for some of the county’s 60 schools.

CCBC cllr Aaron Wynne, who covers the Llanrwst ward, said that the cuts would “undermine schools and prevent them from being able to deliver a high-standard education“.

Cllr Wynne said: “These brutal cuts are taking a stranglehold on our children’s education.

Headteachers have already warned that redundancies will be made, class sizes will get larger and buildings will fall into disrepair.

“This will only create further barriers for our children in Conwy as they attempt to access education and training, and will undermine our schools and teachers.

“Austerity has clearly failed and ne to be ended. These cuts will have long-term adverse effects on our young people, leaving the ‘millennial’ generation far worse off than our parents.”

On Tuesday a letter, co-signed by headteachers in Conwy, went out to all parents informing them of the “make or break” situation schools in the county were faced with.

Chair of the Conwy Secondary Headteachers group, Ann Webb, warned the situation had become unsustainable and had reached “crisis point”.

Mrs Webb, who is also a headteacher at Ysgol John Bright, said: “It has reached crisis point for schools. There is not an awful lot of room around the edges for cuts, so this latest funding cut meant there was not much chance their wouldn’t be redundancies.

“A majority of schools are being forced to make redundancies or not replacing like-for-like.

“As a group of headteachers we have tried to shield parents from the difficulties but because the situation is not sustainable, we are working together to make parents fully aware.

“There simply are not the savings to be made that can make up for the huge shortfall in our funding. It feels very unfair to our children and to our staff.

“Representatives from Conwy headteachers have already met with local councillors to raise their awareness about the impact the cuts are having.”

In the letter to the parents it was outlined the funding cuts could have an affect on a variety of different areas throughout schools.

These included larger class sizes and fewer teachers/senior staff; school buildings falling into disrepair; cuts to pastoral services including teaching assistants and support staff in general; outdated computer equipment; fewer trips and after school activities; and significant challenge to the growth of Welsh medium education.

The schools have encouraged parents to write to their local AM’s and councillors or sign a petition that is available online.

A final decision on the exact cut to the education sector in Conwy will be be decided on February 28.