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Byline: EXAMINER News Correspondent

PLANS to axe 1,000 jobs in the Education Department and halve the number of sites under radical cost-saving measures were coming under increasing attack last night.

Union leaders and politicians criticised Education Secretary Michael Gove, warning he was "playing politics" with people's lives.

The department has been conducting a review over the past year, which has proposed saving PS290 million by 2015/16 and reducing its workforce in England by a quarter, affecting jobs in human resources, finance and computing.

The number of sites will be cut from 12 to six, generating savings of around PS15 million a year, while spending on IT will be reduced "considerably."

Union leaders believe other Government departments will come under pressure to follow suit if the cuts go through as planned.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, said: "Michael Gove appears to want to run the education department as some kind of nightmarish right-wing experiment, playing politics with people's livelihoods and putting at risk the very important services DfE civil servants provide to teachers and the public.

"Staff in the DfE will not sit back and allow their jobs and the vital work they do supporting the education and development of our children, to be used as some kind of ideological testing ground for what is nothing more than an extension of an already discredited and failing obsession with cuts and austerity."

The union accused Mr Gove of using civil servants as a testing ground for an "ideological attack" on staff.

Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg said: "While Labour support efficiency savings in the civil service, this document says certain work that isn't a ministerial priority will stop, raising the prospect that programmes and services will be axed. Michael Gove needs to explain to parents how this will affect them."


| UNDER ATTACK: Education secretary Michael Gove
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Nov 15, 2012
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