A DORSET school is looking at reducing the number of staff it has, due to low classroom numbers.

Bovington Academy is currently over-staffed, according to a spokesperson for Aspirations Academies Trust (AAT), and a number of options are being looked at to bring staffing levels down.

An AAT spokesperson said: "Aspirations Academies Trust prides itself on turning around struggling schools and has a proven track record in doing so. Aspirations believes every child deserves an excellent education and the staff in all our schools work tirelessly to ensure that all young people are prepared for success in their life beyond school.

"Bovington Primary School was placed in special measures in December 2018.

"The Department of Education subsequently asked Aspirations to take over the running of the school last year due to our excellent reputation for improving failing schools and it was re-named Bovington Academy.

"Improving a failing school takes time and new classroom structures were put in place and new staff recruited to bring positive change.

"A new and very experienced principal, Sara White, has been appointed and will be starting in September.

"However in the year that has passed, pupil numbers at the school have remained below full capacity and the projection is that this will continue next year.

"This means the school is currently over-staffed and the cost of this is not sustainable beyond the short term. It is only right that we reduce staffing levels.

"The support and learning we provide the students will not be affected at all by any changes in staffing levels.

"There are no compulsory redundancies planned or any big redundancies planned to address the reduction in staff as we believe there are viable alternatives available.

"Some staff have already planned to leave as they have found opportunities at other schools. In addition to this we are looking at the option of voluntary redundancies but this has not yet been agreed.

"The proposals we are putting forward are designed to make any necessary changes to staffing over a period of time.

"No final decisions will be made before June.

"We remain committed to providing ongoing improvement of provision at Bovington Academy."

This has raised concerns about the school's ability to manage social distancing guidelines, with a potential reopening of schools on June 1 for some age groups mentioned by Boris Johnson earlier this month.

A Dorset resident connected with the school, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: "Schools set to return however Aspirations Academy has told staff at one of their schools, Bovington Academy, that redundancies are coming in September.

"How they think they can remain within the government guidelines on social distancing with fewer staff and larger classes I don't know."

However, an AAT spokesperson assured that this would not be affected by any possible changes to staffing levels: "We will fully meet the government guidelines outlined to ensure the school is safe and secure for wider opening as the country tackles the Covid-19 outbreak. All government guidelines outlined from hygiene to social distancing will be met.