SCHOOL SHOCK: Wisbech head warns that colleagues might go in cut backs

PUBLISHED: 12:04 05 June 2008 | UPDATED: 08:29 02 June 2010

John Bennett

John Bennett

EXCLUSIVE By JOHN ELWORTHY HEAD teacher John Bennett warned some of his closest colleagues last night they may lose their jobs in a radical shake-up at the Thomas Clarkson Community College, Wisbech. The school is expected to lose £587,000 this year and

EXCLUSIVE

By JOHN ELWORTHY

HEAD teacher John Bennett warned some of his closest colleagues last night they may lose their jobs in a radical shake-up at the Thomas Clarkson Community College, Wisbech.

The school is expected to lose £587,000 this year and the losses could be even more severe next year as Fresh Start monies dwindle.

"I believe there is over staffing at the school but it is not as if Mr Bennett is cutting away lots of teachers, nothing of the kind," he said.

"In future it will run effectively in a new streamlined way but the core function of teaching and learning has to be protected."

Mr Bennett revealed that changes may affect senior management, middle managers and non teaching staff but "ordinary teachers are not specially affected."

He had issued "a highly confidential" consultation document which involves possible redundancies and loss of teaching hours.

"My job is to set this school back on its feet," he said. "No organisation with a turnover of £6 million per annum can afford to make a loss. It has to at least break even, and I have had to address this very difficult matter.

"Having said that once we get through this stage, I believe it will be another important milestone on the road to getting this school back on its feet."

Describing the leaking of a confidential report Mr Bennett said: "It is going to create more concern unnecessarily. However I am not one to put anything under the table. "What I can say is that changes may not even happen- at the moment this is a consultation process and I would rather get on and do it privately. I want to work through this with my staff."

Planned savings may also include upping the teacher/pupil ratio to 1-27 or 1-28 and this was still generous when compared to other Cambridgeshire schools who were up to 1-30.

Mr Bennett said he was confident about the school's future and this September, and for the first time, it would have a full complement of teachers. Five teachers have been recruited from Canada -which shares the same curriculum as Britain- and an influx of trainers teachers linked to Sawtry Training College had boosted teaching resources.


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