TEACHERS at Machynlleth's Ysgol Bro Hyddgen went on strike on Wednesday as a response to all the job losses at the school.

Wednesday's strike by members of the NAS/UWT teaching union is the first of five day series of strike action against proposed compulsory redundancies at Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, Machynlleth.

Over the last five year, since 14 posts have been lost and in this current round four teachers are facing redundancy

And the chairman of the school governors, Huw Morgan has tol The County Times that the strike is the price of austerity policies being felt in schools.

Members of teaching union NAS/UWT, formed a picket line at the school in the morning in a bid to highlight the staffing issues that have brought them to breaking point.

Ysgol Bro Hyddgen Chairman of Governors, Huw Morgan, said: "I completely sympathise with the teachers taking action, I understand the strain they're under.

"We have no choice the school has to go through this process as we're facing big budget deficits and the last thing we want to do is cut staff.

"We have been doing our best in the face of budget cuts, but we've reached the end, there is no more slack.

"There is no more money.

"We have been trying to reduce staff by voluntary redundancies during the last few years but we are being forced to make these job losses compulsory."

"It's not mismanagement, we don't have enough money coming in.

Huw Morgan added: "Personally and not speaking on behalf of the governors, this is a problem being faced by most schools in the country and perhaps the only way to highlight these problems is that more teachers take industrial action.

"Austerity is at fault for this, and the problem is that most of the people in Powys have voted for this.

"It's being felt by frontline services such as health and education."

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“NASUWT members at Ysgol Bro Hyddgen have not taken the decision to take strike action lightly. Staff have already had to endure numerous redundancies at the school over the last four years, reducing staff numbers considerably.

“Despite the adverse impact this has had on teachers’ workload, they have strived to ensure children’s education has not suffered as a result. However, they have reached a point, with further staff reductions on the horizon, where they have had to say enough is enough.

“Powys County Council has failed to honour its promises, made at the time the school was formed from a merger, that funding and jobs would be protected.

“The employer has failed to listen to our suggestions on how further redundancies and staff reductions can be avoided.

“NASUWT members feel they have no other option than to take this strike action in a bid to protect their jobs and the continued provision of high-quality education for pupils.”

A spokesman for Powys County Council said that the school had agreed it's budget under the "fair funding" allocation and the formula is based on pupil numbers.

He said that if pupik numbers dropped schools have to adapt to the loss of funding.

Bro Hyddgen is one of several schools that have been criticised recently at a cabinet meeting by Powys County Council's education cabinet member Cllr Myfanwy Alexander, for having overspent their budget.

The schools budget was forecast to be around £500k overspent by the end of March.

Cllr Alexander, said: “In July 2017, 18 schools were highlighted as having unlicensed budgets. Following compliance and restructuring this was reduced to 11.

“One thing we certainly know is that some schools are far better at budgeting than others and we will not accept a continual parade of excuses and a deficit situation being allowed to run on and on.”

“We do recognise that schools are facing pressures and to that extent an additional £1 million has been put into schools budgets in this budget, together with a £250k sum which is to be allocated to deal with the specific funding challenges that arise from dual stream provision.”

Schools are required to deliver their budget plans for the forthcoming financial year to the council by May 1.

Further strikes are due to take place on February 28, March 1, 7 and 8.