Staff stunned by school jobs axe

By Tom Sharpe | 05/11/2010 0 comments

Staff stunned by school jobs axe

PARENTS and staff have been left shell shocked by a budget slashing shake-up which could see mass redundancies at one of the boroughs specialist schools.

More than ten redundancies are feared, along with a swathe of wage cuts as Rawmarsh Community Schools new head teacher, Dr Stuart Wilson, battled to reduce the sports colleges spiralling debts.

Teachers, learning mentors and office staff were among those called to a meeting on Tuesday to hear news of the cuts which could see many reapplying for new posts on a reduced wage.

Dr Wilson, who took over from John Lambert in September, admitted this week that the school was set to table a 400,000 overspend for this year alone and faced a reduced budget in future due to cuts in government funding.

He said: "We have begun a consultation on the changes to staffing and it does look as though we will have to lose a number of valued colleagues.

"We are doing everything we can to minimise the number of people affected and are looking at voluntary routes to tackle the problem where we can."

After Tuesdays bombshell one stunned school employee revealed: "It looks like were in line for mass redundancies and it has left many members of staff shell-shocked.

"Everyone at the meeting was handed what was referred to as a staff reduction pack and every role at the school was colour-coded on there.

"If your job was highlighted in red then that meant that your position no-longer existed and you would have to reapply under new terms."

One parent  said: "My daughter came home and told me that her teacher had been crying in the classroom. Some of the staff are clearly distraught about these cuts.

"My understanding is that ten teacherssome of them heads of departmentsare being made redundant and that is really worrying for parents and pupils.

"Rawmarsh school has a very good reputation, the kids achieve good grades and cuts like this will only disadvantage the areas youngsters.

"This is a real blow for the entire community."

Sources at the school suggested that ten members of staff had already been handed redundancy notices but NUT divisional secretary, Paul Colley, said: "At the moment the document handed to staff is a consultative document and there will now follow a 30-day period of consultation to determine exactly what will happen.

"No redundancy notices have been served on staff.

He added: "Rotherhams record of redundancies within schools is very good and the NUT is working very hard at the moment in an attempt to maintain that record.

"Cuts to Rawmarsh Community Schools budget come amid government plans to slash spending which could see specialist sports schools, like Rawmarsh, lose up to 129 per pupil."

Dr Wilson said: "Our school faces three linked issues in terms of funding. We have an historic budget deficit, a reduction in the number of secondary age pupils who live in Rawmarsh and the funding changes for schools nationally.

"We met with staff this week and can confirm that the current projected budget deficit for this financial year is around 400,000 and this is why we are looking at a range of options to both reduce the deficit and improve the quality of education for our young people.

"This is a difficult time for everyone at the school but by working together with our community we will become even stronger.

"The school has made great strides forward in recent years and we are all determined that our students experiences and attainment will continue to increase.

"As always, our students are our most important focus."

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