Staff to go at school

By Emily Pearce

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

 

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

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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by ROBERT SMITH

25th March 2014, at 16:31:42

YET another example of why FREE and ACADEMIES schools DO NOT WORK and should be taken back under LEA ownership.
The only ones that suffer are the pupils with less teaching and support staff BUT the companies that run them KEEP their fingers in the till and take there CUT.

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by Jack Woodford

25th March 2014, at 13:11:39

“As many other schools, we have been reviewing all aspects of Cowes Enterprise College’s budget for some time.”

If the chair of governors can’t even write an opening sentence that makes sense then what hope does the school have? Full of jargon and platitudes that will offer no comfort or assurances to either staff or pupils.
What a shame a school that at one stage had such a promising and exciting future has descended into a comedy of errors.

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by Steve Nicolson

25th March 2014, at 13:02:25

Does it show :-)

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by Steve Nicolson

25th March 2014, at 11:34:12

An absolute shambles. So why are these cut's being made ? And the fall guys are the poor staff and teachers who have had to work in an environment , not arranged or financed by them !! There are those who have walked away, with a tidy sum , after not being held to account for this mess of a new build.
So these cuts will improve the school with less support staff and less teachers . Well at least those who survive this cull , do so in the knowledge that there salaries will be reduced.
What a pick me up that must be !!

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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