Somerset special education jobs could go in cuts

Up to 70% of child psychologists and behavioural specialists in Somerset could lose their jobs as part of cuts being proposed by the county council.

About 300 school governors in the county were told the news this week.

Unions said the loss of this specialist support for the county's schools would affect the most vulnerable.

The council said they were just proposals and final decisions would not be made until after the government's spending review.

'Early intervention'

Nigel Behan, district officer for Unison, said: "In the children's and young people's directorate we are looking at 65% to 75% of non-social care, which means all the people who do behavioural support, education support and educational psychologists.

"This is all the support children would get over and above just going to school and going to lessons."

He added: "It's this early intervention which prevents problems down the line."

Andy Woolley, from the NUT, said such cuts could have a knock-on effect.

He said: "There's never a good time or a good place to make cuts in education.

"Education is necessary for the future prosperity of the country and if we take short-term measures to save money then we are damaging our future prospects."

The council said it could not comment until the cuts were confirmed.

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