Leeds academy job cuts in funds shock EXCLUSIVE

FUNDING BLOW: Garforth Green Lane Primary.
FUNDING BLOW: Garforth Green Lane Primary.
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Staff face losing their jobs at a trailblazing Leeds school after a £117,000 funding error.

Up to seven out of 21 teaching assistant jobs at Garforth Green Lane Primary Academy could go.

The school, the first primary in Yorkshire to become an academy, had been told how much money it would receive from the Government’s Young People’s Learning Agency this academic year.

Funding is affected by the school’s academy status.

Now, it has emerged that that total was £117,000 higher than it should have been.

It has been ordered to hand back the cash it has been overpaid to date and it plans to balance its budget by axing the seven teaching assistant posts.

A school source said news of the fiasco was broken to staff last Friday.

“People are shocked, to put it mildly,” said the source. “They were told that becoming an academy was the right thing to do but it seems the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”

Green Lane has been under the control of the School Partnership Trust Academies (SPTA) charitable organisation since it converted to academy status.

A spokeswoman for the SPTA confirmed that an “overpayment” had been made.

She went on: “We are working to adjust the budget.

“It is too early to say exactly what level of impact there will be, but it’s possible there will be staff reductions as a consequence of any repayments.”

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said Green Lane had agreed to pay back the money over a 12-month period.

State schools that become academies receive their funding direct from the Government’s YPLA rather than their local authority.

They also get greater freedom to set their curriculum, admission criteria, holiday times and employment policies.

Green Lane Primary Academy was formerly Garforth Green Lane Primary School.