Aberdeenshire to scrap 180 classroom support jobs

Aberdeenshire Council is to shed 180 pupil support jobs, the authority has announced.

The plans involve replacing classroom assistants, children’s supervisors, lunchtime auxiliaries and support for learning auxiliaries with a new role of Pupil Support Assistant.

The council has said that all existing employees have been guaranteed employment until June 2012 and that it remains committed to avoiding the need for compulsory redundancies. However, all staff included in the review with permanent contracts are being given the opportunity to apply for voluntary severance.

A range of options will be accessible to those staff who have not been matched to a new post but are keen to remain with the council, including training to help them secure vacant Pupil Support Assistant posts, as well as support for those wishing to pursue career opportunities elsewhere.

Making the announcement, Maria Walker, Aberdeenshire Council’s Director of Education, Learning & Leisure, said that she was committed to giving those who had not matched to a job the best opportunity to secure one of the new posts.

“Our focus is on giving our children the very best start in life”, she said. “Having a single post means that we can deliver training and support in a co-ordinated way, and provide clarity to parents and teachers about the roles and responsibilities of pupil support staff. We will also be able to focus resources where the need is greatest and work with schools to ensure their needs are met.”