PARENTS voiced their fears about the loss of more than 10 teaching assistant posts would have on their children's education.

Around 50 parents, governors, staff and councillors attended a meeting following the shock announcement that 11 jobs could go at SS Osmund and Andrew's RC Primary School in Breightmet.

The meeting was held as part of a campaign to have the proposals overturned.

Parents will also be lobbying the governing body next week and a petition, which has attracted more than 400 signatures, will be handed in full council next Wednesday Andrea Egan, assistant branch member of Unison chaired the meeting.

She said: "One of the things that is impacting on schools greatly at the moment for us as a trade union is that it is the next NHS crisis and its absolutely heartbreaking to see the Tory cuts from a national level being imposed on schools.

"Schools have got less and less money to do the things that they want to do.

"But I always say there is there are choices where the money is spent.

"One of the shock for us was the scale of the cuts.

"What we have never had is this situation, where the cuts have been so deep that it has prompted such a reaction from parents."

Suzi Boardman, school representative for Unison,said:"The school has proposed to cut 11 staff which is huge, I have never come across this before.

"Teaching assistants are very important to schools. They read with the children, they listen to their problems, they help with maths, correct their spelling - they cover for teachers. I could go on for hours - take that way you are taking something that is very valuable to your children, but you are taking away a massive support to teachers and that is going to affect your children's learning.

"We can ask the school to look at what they are currently spending that is not on staffing, so things like some of the resources and services they buy in.

"After all what is more important than your teaching assistants and we can also ask the school to speak to the council's finance team."

Louise Bancroft said: "My children love that school, love the teaching assistants. We are not against the school we are against the cuts."

One parent said: "You can't put a price on teaching assistants - they are priceless.

"There was one proposal on the table, how many other proposals can people come up with - there are other options and other solutions and that's why we need to get together and fight it as best as we can "A petition has got over 400 signatures which is fantastic. Teaching assistants are invaluable, we need them and without them it is the kids who are going to suffer.

"On Monday 19 at 6 pm we are looking to lobby the governors meeting to show how much we are against this."

She added: "It's for our kids, that's what we are fighting for.We are for the school we are for everything that the school stands for and want it to achieve."

Concerns voiced by parents included what would happen to children who needed extra support but did not have a plan in place, and the gifted and talented, and adding more workload on to teachers.

One parent said: If the teaching assistant is not there my gifted child is not going to be pushed and reach her potential and my younger child who is on the pathway will be pushed aside.

" A teacher cannot give the attention that is needed. You need the two."

Another added "If there are not the teaching assistants to help them, the children are not going to get to where they need to be and achieve their potential."

Governors who were at the meeting said they would feedback concerns to the governing body.