Staff to go at school

By Emily Pearce

Published on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 10:42


TWENTY-SIX support staff and five teachers are set to be made redundant following a cost-cutting exercise at an Isle of Wight school.

As revealed by the County Press last month, Cowes Enterprise College bosses confirmed a restructure would take place due to financial pressures caused by falling student numbers — a problem facing almost all Isle of Wight secondary schools.

Following a meeting with staff on Thursday, chair of governors Rachael Fidler yesterday (Monday) confirmed the school was proposing to reduce the number of support staff from 80 to 54, and the number of teachers from 70 to 65.

Those who escape redundancy will face a pay cut of thousands of pounds, according to staff who have contacted the County Press.

Ms Fidler, however, said: "The proposed restructure does include some changes to roles and responsibilities with related amendments to grading. There are no proposed blanket pay cuts. We are aiming to achieve most of these through natural or voluntary movement and we are putting in every effort to reduce the pressure on staff."

The college, which was placed in special measures last year after failing its Ofsted inspection, is due to be taken over by the Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) in September.

In a statement posted on the college website, Ms Fidler said school bosses were consulting with staff on the proposed redundancies.

"As many other schools, we have been reviewing all aspects of Cowes Enterprise College’s budget for some time. We have now received full details of our budget and in order to keep this balanced, we are reviewing our staffing structure.

"The governing body is working with trade unions and associations to ensure members are kept informed and engaged in the transitions.

"The governing body has agreed a comprehensive package of funding to support their discussions with staff and ensure that there are a number of options available to affected staff. It is aiming to conclude the restructure in one go, which it believes will be in the best interests of staff, the students and necessary for the college’s budget.

"The governing body is working with OAT during the restructure to ensure that once the college converts to an academy, OAT is happy to adopt the new structure and curriculum plan. This will ensure that staff will only need to undergo one consultation process and that they will not face any changes as a result of conversion.

"This process aims to minimise the impact on our students and to ensure we have the financial ability to continue the journey of rapid improvement Cowes Enterprise College is currently on," she said



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