St John’s school mass redundancies dismissed as “scaremongering”
St John’s School has dismissed as “scaremongering” suggestions that teachers at Marlborough’s secondary school face mass redundancies following the leaking of a letter sent to all members of staff.
Headteacher Dr Patrick Hazlewood told Marlborough News Online that he would be “very surprised if it amounted to more than one person.”
A photo-copy of the letter announcing a “collective consultation meeting” of all staff in the school’s Theatre on the Hill on Monday was leaked to the local media earlier this week.
It had arrived at their homes while they were on half-term holiday and pointed out that the school’s governors had agreed in principle at their meeting last month for “the need to reduce the teaching staff complement in line with an economical, technical or organisational reason.”
But in a statement to Marlborough News Online, Dr Hazelwood pointed out: “The situation is not as ‘exciting’ as it may appear. Each year in advance of budget certainty, we have to assess whether income will exceed expenditure.
“The timescale for possible redundancy begins earlier than our allocated budget is confirmed. This is to fit in with notice periods leading to August 31. Most secondary schools go through this as an annual event.”
“St John's is no exception and we have not had to make a compulsory redundancy for many years.”
He pointed out that in the coming year the school’s student roll will be greater than its current total of 1,680, rising in fact to 1,725 plus in September.
However, with the possibility of redundancy, according to what funding the school eventually received, volunteers for redundancy had to be identified, enforced redundancy being out of the question.
“But very few can be accepted because of the growth factor if indeed any,” he added. “I cannot rule out redundancy but would be very surprised if it amounted to more than one person.”
“So all in all a bit of scaremongering from someone”.