A FUNDING crisis is set to see teachers and support staff cut at a large Hampshire secondary school.

Staff at The Arnewood School in New Milton are being consulted on proposals to make six support and non-teaching pastoral roles redundant.

The school also proposes to not renew fixed term unqualified teacher contracts in September which would affect four staff.

And 40-week support staff contracts could be transferred to 39-week contracts so they match term time and save more money.

There will also be a non-replacement policy for teaching posts unless they are considered essential.

Senior staff at the school said the decision to put forward the proposals has been taken “reluctantly” but “the only solution left open to us is staff cuts.”

In a statement a spokesman said the national funding formula means the school receives less money per student than it did in the last school year.

It has been forced to cover the cost of nationally-set pay rises for support staff without any extra funding.

And schools also had to find the first one per cent of the teachers’ pay award in 2018.

“This year’s deficit will wipe out the remaining contingency funds, meaning staff costs against income are not sustainable” said the spokesman.

“Academies are not allowed to run long-term deficits and unfortunately the only solution left open to us is staff cuts.

“Therefore we are proposing to remove up to six full or part-time support and non-teaching pastoral roles and introduce a short-term policy of not replacing teaching posts unless essential.

“We are also proposing to not renew fixed term unqualified teacher contracts in September 2019, which would affect four staff, and amend 40 week support staff contracts transferring them to 39 week contracts so that they match term time.”

The Arnewood School, in Gore Road, has nearly 1,100 pupils, around 200 of whom are in the sixth form.

Last year the school was graded as Good by Ofsted, a grade lower than its previous rating of Outstanding.

Final decisions on the fate of the teachers and support staff will be made by the end of March.

“We are working towards making these job losses through natural wastage or voluntary redundancies” said the spokesman. “However, and very regrettably, compulsory redundancies might be necessary if we cannot achieve that.

“Despite the financial pressures facing us we have maintained high standards and the school was recently rated Good by Ofsted.

“The school has successfully bid for additional central funding which has helped refurbish school buildings and significantly improve the school environment. This money cannot be diverted for other purposes as awarded for capital building projects.

“Our priority as always is to provide the best possible education for our children in what are extremely testing financial times, not just for us but all schools.”