Seven low-paid teaching assistants will lose their jobs at a Wirral primary school as bosses look to cut costs.

The staff at Grove Street Primary School, New Ferry, work to support the most vulnerable children at the school, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

But Wirral Council, who manage the school’s budget, said letting the staff go was the “only option” they had to make the school’s sums add up.

Speaking anonymously to the LDRS, one local who is friends with several of the school’s staff, said: “New Ferry is already classed as a deprived area and there are quite a few challenging pupils who rely totally on the teaching assistants.”

The school’s most recent Ofsted report, published in November last year, said the number of pupils at the school who receive free school meals is more than double the national average.

The school also ranks above average for the number of its pupils who have special educational needs.

But the proportion of its pupils who received support to help them overcome their SEND and succeed in education was “small in comparison to the national figure”.

Before the staff cuts, the school had 22 teaching assistants, seven of which are being made redundant, leaving 15 TAs.

Of the seven being laid-off, four worked between 10 and 24 hours and three had 30.86 hour contracts.

Despite the cuts, Wirral Council said Grove Street Primary School can still support the needs of all its pupils.

A council spokesperson said: “Making redundancies was not an easy decision for Grove Street Primary School to make and we appreciate it has been a stressful time for everyone involved.

“Reluctantly, a reduction in staffing costs was the only option in order to address the budget deficit at the school.

“Due to a lower birth rate, fewer children joined reception this academic year in comparison to the number who left Year 6 in July. As the school receives most of its funding on a per pupil basis this affects the school budget moving forward.

“The school is committed to supporting its most vulnerable children. All SEND pupils will continue to be supported by a Teaching Assistant, and three Emotional Literacy Support Assistants work with children across the school.

“The school’s Early Years ratios will remain above those legally required. Grove Street Primary School wants the best for all of its pupils, and will keep class sizes small with a focus on quality teaching in a nurturing, secure setting.”