JOB cuts at Chisledon Primary School will put pupils at risk, a union is warning.

The GMB, which represents teaching support staff, is mounting a campaign to reverse the decision by school leaders to more than half the number of teaching assistants from seven to three.

And the school, which is overseen by Swindon Borough Council, is planning to remove one newly-qualified teaching position at the same time from September.

GMB branch secretary Andy Newman said the cut to staff numbers would leave a class of 30 children vulnerable if a teacher had to leave in an emergency.

He said: “The school will be operating on what is literally the minimum possible staffing, with one teacher per class of children working without a teaching assistant, and the deputy headteacher and headteacher will be responsible for a full class.

“One TA will be permanently in reception, and the other two TAs will be tied up with small group work outside the classroom.

“Clearly, many pupils at the school who currently benefit from the help of a teaching assistant will be getting a worse education from September.

“Personally, if I was a parent in Chisledon, I would seriously worry about sending my child to the school if these job cuts go ahead.”

He also spoke about the extra pressure on staff resulting from an increase in violent incidents which can take up extra hands.

“GMB has on several occasions drawn attention to the rising problems of violence in Swindon schools,” he added.

“Just in the last few weeks, a pupil at Chisledon has thrown a chair at a teacher on more than one occasion.”

A formal consultation with the school’s leadership, staff from the council and the union was held last week over the issue.

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “It is incredibly disappointing that the GMB has publicly criticised Chiseldon School in this way.

“Staff redundancies are always a last resort and the school is consulting on reducing the number of teaching assistants as well as other options in order to offset a significant deficit in its budget.

“The school and the council are continuing to speak to staff and unions and have extended the redundancy consultation process to accommodate a number of queries.

“There is no legal obligation for a school to have a set number of teaching assistants and it is not envisaged that these proposed redundancies will have a negative impact on the health and safety of children or staff.

“The GMB has acknowledged the school’s financial position and that there is no alternative but to make these staffing reductions.”