THE trust which runs Ormiston Forge Academy in Cradley Heath has scrapped plans to axe caretaker and maintenance roles after a union claimed the safety of pupils would be put at risk.

Ormiston Academies Trust said today (Wednesday) that no jobs will now be lost and confirmed it has scrapped the proposal after a consultation attracted widespread criticism.

The trust, which runs seven schools in the Black Country including secondary school Ormiston Forge, in Wrights Lane, Cradley Heath, also announced plans to cut IT jobs last month, with more than 130 jobs across the UK affected.

Union Unison hit out at the plan, which it said would have put pupil safety at risk.

A spokesperson for the Trust said: “We have been pleased with the level of engagement with the consultation we opened last month.

"We were always clear that we wanted to hear the views of all interested parties and that no decisions had been made.

"As a result, we have decided not to proceed with the proposals.

“As a well-run and financially responsible organisation privileged to serve 29,000 pupils, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, we will continue to invest in school improvement, teaching and learning, and our wider team, while being as efficient as ever.”

The workers who had been at risk are responsible for conducting fire safety checks and ensuring fire alarms and escape routes are up to scratch.

They also carry out regular building checks to make sure they’re safe and free of hazardous materials, such as asbestos.

Ormiston also runs George Salter Academy in West Bromwich, Sandwell Community Academy in Tividale, Wodensborough Academy in Wednesbury, Shelfield Community Academy in Pelsall, Walsall, SWB Academy in Bilston and the NEW Academy in Fordhouses, Wolverhampton as well as a host of other schools across the UK.