1. ITV Report

Northamptonshire headteachers urge council to ditch 'reckless' cuts plan

The council have faced a series of protests as it plans savings to balance the budget. Credit: ITV News Anglia

More than 150 headteachers in Northamptonshire are calling on the troubled county council to ditch a cost-cutting plan which "puts at risk the education, wellbeing and safety" of vulnerable children.

The county's education leaders, who represent around 200 schools, nurseries and colleges, have written an open letter to the council rejecting its so-called 'Stabilisation Plan'.

The council's proposal aims to save an additional £20m in 2018-19, on top of £45m in cuts it has already planned.

It includes plans to cut spending on agency staff and highways services, while boosting collection of council tax.

But the "Educating Northants" group have expressed concerns about the impact on young people.

They say that planned cuts to social care, home to school transport and learning disability commissioning would risk the wellbeing of vulnerable children.

  • Click below to watch the full report from ITV Anglia's Rob Setchell.

"This plan puts at risk the education and safeguarding of many vulnerable young people in our county. It diminishes the quality of service that schools are already struggling to provide.

"It is unacceptable that vulnerable children and adults in our county should pay the price of financial mismanagement from an unsatisfactory administration.

"We therefore reject these proposed cuts to children’s services and ask that you find ways to achieving financial savings that are not at the detriment to the education and wellbeing of children and young people."

– Headteachers' open letter to Northamptonshire County Council
A protest at a previous Northamptonshire County Council meeting. Credit: ITV News Anglia

County council leader Matt Golby said a "robust plan" was needed to address "unprecedented" financial challenges.

He said the plan meant the council was "moving firmly towards stabilising our budget position".

The Stabilisation Plan was also welcomed by Government commissioners when it was published last week.

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