JOBS at University Academy Warrington (UAW) are under threat due to 'financial pressures'.

The University of Chester Academies Trust (UCAT), which is responsible for a number of schools across Cheshire including UAW in Padgate, is considering cutting staffing numbers while it 'works towards financial health'.

The proposed job cuts were discussed after the trust was handed a financial notice to improve from the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

It has previously been reported how debts of £3m had been built-up. Most spending decisions by the trust must now be discussed with the ESFA.

A spokesman for the trust said: "We has been working very closely with the ESFA for a number of months to address financial pressures and is working towards financial health.

"Due to the current numbers of pupils, staffing structures for both teaching and support staff are being reviewed across all schools within the trust.

"Consultations are about to begin for affected schools."

It is understood UAW, formerly Padgate High, could lose one teaching post and more than four support roles but the trust is looking at the possibility of finding new sponsors for some schools.

The spokesman added: "UCAT is committed to providing the best educational experience it can for its pupils.

"It will support all its staff during this challenging time and is working very closely with trade unions and the Department for Education (DfE) throughout this process."

Unison, the union representing school support staff, is concerned about the impact of the cuts on staff and pupils.

Keith Bradley, from the north west branch, said: "UCAT has slowly reduced staffing levels and have had financial difficulties over a number of years.

"The decision by the trust will only reinforce the funding deficit in the academy programme and will further damage the amount of transparency and accountability in local education."