PLANS to cut or relocate caretaking and maintenance jobs at two secondary schools in Halton have been scrapped after consultation.

Union bosses had feared that pupils' and staff safety would be 'at risk' if Ormiston Academies Trust had gone ahead with relocating 'vital' support staff at Ormiston Chadwick Academy and Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy roles as part of its Transforming Our Trust programme.

Also on the table were plans to cut a number of information and communication technology jobs, with affected staff due to learn their fate just before Christmas.

Unison had urged the trust to pause its proposals until a full assessment and proper consultation had take place.

The trust confirmed today that it had "decided not to proceed with the proposals".

A spokesperson for Ormiston Academies Trust told Runcorn & Widnes World: "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."

UNISON's head of education Jon Richards said: "It's welcome news that the Ormiston trust has listened to staff and unions.

"The proposal to cut back on caretakers and other staff would have had a terrible impact on the health and safety of pupils and staff.

"We will continue to work with Ormiston to improve services without affecting children's education by cutting jobs and resources."