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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Barrow secondary school staff facing redundancies

A FURNESS secondary school has announced yet more redundancies, because of a drop in the intake of new pupils.

The governors of Furness Academy have said it anticipated leadership and support staff will be affected, but the school has not confirmed numbers.

A 30-day collective consultation has started with unions and staff. The governors and executive principal, Des Herlihy, are considering a range of options which would minimise the impact for staff and to ensure frontline teaching and learning activities are protected.

The school said the planned programme of redundancies is a necessary “right-sizing” measure to ensure the academy has the correct number of staff in the right roles to support the education of the pupils for the forthcoming year.

In March, the academy announcedt six of its 90 teaching staff posts were to be cut in the areas of additional needs, art, music, PE and technology.

Mr Herlihy is the executive principal until July 2015, and has been noted by inspectors for strengthening the leadership team, creating a strong sense of stability at the academy, which is in special measures.

He said: “The fall in student numbers for year seven in September 2014 has been influenced to some extent by the fact that parents had to make choices in October 2013 when there was uncertainty over the leadership of the academy.

“More recently, parents have gained confidence. For example, 15 year six parents changed their choices in March to Furness Academy, so already there is an increase on the first number we received. Staff at the academy told me parents altering preferences at this stage has never happened before.

“Surveys from parents’ evenings indicate a high level of satisfaction from parents about the progress of their children and the professionalism of our staff.

“Coupled with our continued pace of improvement to exit special measures, the future is good for Furness Academy. Nevertheless, we have had to make reductions to align our budget with our staffing costs.”

Have your say

The academy began with nearly 2800 pupils and is now below its 'optimum' number of 1200. Where have all these pupils gone?
Unfortunately I can foresee a further decline in pupil numbers once Chetwynde Free school opens and increases it's numbers resulting in further redundancies.
This is Mr Blavkledges unfortunate legacy and we all just sat back and let it happen at the time. Shame on us.

Posted by Wayne Chips on 8 May 2014 at 09:17

Would it be possible for this cull to start at the top rather than the lower ranks.It seems very strange to me that support staff etc must go.Whilst so called Heads of Department on somewhat bloated salaries are being left in situe.I fear there is still something seriously wrong at this school and that parents are not being given the full picture.Also that the only way to rectify this is a clean sweep from top to bottom.And then a full independent enquiry as to what has led to this sorry state of affairs.There has to be a whistle in there somewhere can someone please blow it.

Posted by Aesop on 7 May 2014 at 18:43

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