Headteachers warn of job losses as schools face 'perilous' funding crisis

The Welsh Government said it will do everything it can to support teachers and schools across Wales. Credit: PA Images.

Teachers across Wales could face losing their jobs as schools tackle a "perfect storm" of budget cuts.

A survey by teaching union NAHT found 73% of schools will need to make teaching assistants redundant or reduce their hours.

It is also warning it will not be able to balance its budgets in the next academic year without "drastic action".

It comes as the union warned schools are facing a "perfect storm of costs" amid the rising price of energy.

Paul Whiteman from the NAHT, described a scenario of "eye-watering energy bills, spiralling costs and the financial impact of an unfunded pay increase this year".

He said: "Education is truly in a perilous state."

"With no fat left to cut following a decade of austerity, many thousands of schools are now looking at falling into deficit unless they make swinging cuts", he added.

Nearly half, (48%), of schools said they would be forced to cut back on services such as counselling, therapy and mental health support.

Over half, (56%), said they would have to reduce spending on pupils needing extra help or those with additional learning needs.

The union said those pupils may not get the support they need.

The Welsh Labour Government and Plaid Cymru agreed to roll out free school meals for all primary pupils by 2024, costing £260 million. Credit: PA Images.

In response, the Welsh Government said it recognised that inflation and energy costs are causing financial pressures on all public services.

But ministers in Wales have blamed a lack of funding from the UK Government.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said funding must be restored "to help protect jobs and support our public services".

They said local authorities and schools are discussing how to deploy their reserves, and the Welsh Government remains "committed to doing everything we can to support them".