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Redundancies to hit high school

PUBLISHED: 09:00 09 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:32 01 August 2010

THE headteacher of a Waveney high school has blamed dwindling levels of funding for proposed staff redundancies.

Staff at Sir John Leman High School in Beccles have been sent letters from the school's headteacher Jeremy Rowe outlining draft proposals to dismiss up to 3.

THE headteacher of a Waveney high school has blamed dwindling levels of funding for proposed staff redundancies.

Staff at Sir John Leman High School in Beccles have been sent letters from the school's headteacher Jeremy Rowe outlining draft proposals to dismiss up to 3.4 full time equivalent (FTE) members of teaching staff and seven FTE support staff posts with effect from September 1.

On Tuesday, Mr Rowe said he was not alone in making the “difficult decision” to reduce staffing levels and said the “good times had come to an end for school funding”.

In a letter to staff Mr Rowe said: “The reason for this proposal is the need to reorganise the school's staffing structure in response to fluctuating pupil numbers projected over the next five years.

“It is anticipated that a rationalisation of the way the curriculum is delivered, managed and supported at this stage will secure the future stability of the school's finances and long term viability.”

The letter states that if the situation cannot be alleviated by normal staff movement or other means the governing body will be obliged to carry out the proposal to dismiss up to 3.4 FTE members of teaching staff out of a total of 76.9 FTE posts and seven FTE support staff posts.

Volunteers will be invited to offer themselves for selection, the letter adds.

A summary of the 2010/2011 budget was also sent to staff and shows a predicted shortfall.

According to the figures, the school expects to receive income of £5,941,895 from local education authority funding and grants, but its expenditure, which includes teachers' salaries, premises costs, exam fees and other services, is set to come to £6,287,841. This leaves a shortfall of £345,946.

Mr Rowe said the school is the most popular in north Suffolk in terms of pupil numbers and added that results are at a record high.

“I wish we were alone, but many local schools are going through the same process. This is a national issue,” he said.

“Schools are either facing it or hoping it goes away. We have decided to face this decisively and make alterations now.”

He added: “The good times have come to an end for school funding. The whole of the public sector is about to be hit very hard financially.

“I have to ensure that the school goes from strength to strength and we deliver the best for young people.”

Keith Anderson, NASUWT national executive member for the region, said: “We want to work with the school to try to mitigate these redundancies. The first thing will be to talk to our members and discuss the issues with them and get the full financial picture from the school as to why they believe they need to be in this situation.”


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