Unions ballot over job cuts at Darwen Vale High School

This Is Lancashire: Darwen Vale High School Darwen Vale High School

STAFF at a school are to be balloted for strike action after plans to make compulsory redundancies emerged.

Union bosses said they had been forced to take action after discovering Darwen Vale High School was about to write to staff warning of the potential job losses.

It comes soon after an interim executive board replaced the governors ahead of the school pulling out of council control and converting to an academy.

A letter signed by headteacher Fiona Jack, which has been seen by the Lancashire Telegraph but not sent out, said the school anticipated a budget deficit of more than £400,000 by the end of the next financial year unless savings were made.

Teaching union chiefs said the redundancies were unnecessary and would not happen if the school was not becoming an academy.

A joint statement from unions the NUT, NASUWT and ATL, said: “The data on Darwen Vale at the moment shows it is improving under its own steam.

“There is no need for academisation.

“It is despicable the way the interim executive board is behaving.

“In their haste to slash up to 25 jobs, with the reserves of £300,000 the school has got, this is unfair and unnecessary.

“We accept there may be a need for some reductions in staffing levels but this could be managed by voluntary measures.

“This is merely a case of the new academy sponsor clearing the decks ahead of taking over next year.”

The unions also said documents they were sent in error showed staff lists for this year and next showed certain people had been ‘pre-selected’ with their names removed for no apparent reason. The unions called for ‘the authorities to conduct a full investigation’.

Mrs Jack said ‘factors have led to fewer pupils attending Darwen Vale and this has caused financial pressures’, adding that the school was ‘forecast to go into deficit next year by the end of the next financial year.

This had prompted the ‘very difficult decision to start a consultation with staff about potential job reductions’.

She apologised to staff about the shared list, and described it as ‘purely an academic exercise to calculate potential savings’, and added: “We are following the correct procedures and I want to stress that no decisions will be made about which posts or members of staff may be affected until the consultation is completed.”

Comments (4)

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8:41pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Sue Lee says...

Top photo without NUT chap, must have gone home.
This doesn't seem much different to the Pleckgate story.
Poor leadership by head lady between current and Mrs Dunning, LEA appears to do nothing, thing implodes, pupils and hard working staff suffer.

Now, can anyone from Govs, town hall, MP explain or apologise?
Top photo without NUT chap, must have gone home. This doesn't seem much different to the Pleckgate story. Poor leadership by head lady between current and Mrs Dunning, LEA appears to do nothing, thing implodes, pupils and hard working staff suffer. Now, can anyone from Govs, town hall, MP explain or apologise? Sue Lee
  • Score: 5

9:55pm Thu 13 Mar 14

steve18gls says...

Sue Lee wrote:
Top photo without NUT chap, must have gone home.
This doesn't seem much different to the Pleckgate story.
Poor leadership by head lady between current and Mrs Dunning, LEA appears to do nothing, thing implodes, pupils and hard working staff suffer.

Now, can anyone from Govs, town hall, MP explain or apologise?
Yes, that's about right a deadly silence from the authorities !
[quote][p][bold]Sue Lee[/bold] wrote: Top photo without NUT chap, must have gone home. This doesn't seem much different to the Pleckgate story. Poor leadership by head lady between current and Mrs Dunning, LEA appears to do nothing, thing implodes, pupils and hard working staff suffer. Now, can anyone from Govs, town hall, MP explain or apologise?[/p][/quote]Yes, that's about right a deadly silence from the authorities ! steve18gls
  • Score: 4

10:22pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Pyewacket2 says...

Crapita rules OK !! Said it before, where BwD is concerned what they want is what they get, despite earlier bleatings by Councillors and MP's.

Tough luck teachers, you'd better start looking for new jobs, as the Unions will be totally inefective in fighting your corner.
Crapita rules OK !! Said it before, where BwD is concerned what they want is what they get, despite earlier bleatings by Councillors and MP's. Tough luck teachers, you'd better start looking for new jobs, as the Unions will be totally inefective in fighting your corner. Pyewacket2
  • Score: 8

6:52am Fri 14 Mar 14

imo1984 says...

Belting - just what this school needed the unions serving their own interests and reporting this story to the press therefore letting the community and the pupils know that the staff are facing possible redundancy.

The worst thing is that anyone with any sense will know that redundancy because of a budget issue isn't anything to do with becoming an academy, the unions are simply using this to serve their own interests with the fight against academy status which they don't agree with.

Worse still is that this information was accidentally leaked to the unions! How could that possibly happen? Surely the person responsible for this gross negligence will be disciplined - government ministers have resigned for much less.

Even worse still - if this is a "Consultation period" why on earth was the school working up a list? I feel for the staff at the school who once again are being put through bad times by the management of this school again!

Year after year they are put through something and yet somehow they still keep turning up and try! It's no wonder things have slipped from a 2 to a 4 in recent years, leadership and management might be judged a 3 in the last report but I bet if there was a strand for HR or people management that would have been off the charts.

Good luck people at Darwen Vale - I hope you can keep it up for the Children at your school, no doubt somebody somewhere in the school says the children are the most important thing - shame that people don't recognise the link between staff morale and children outcomes.
Belting - just what this school needed the unions serving their own interests and reporting this story to the press therefore letting the community and the pupils know that the staff are facing possible redundancy. The worst thing is that anyone with any sense will know that redundancy because of a budget issue isn't anything to do with becoming an academy, the unions are simply using this to serve their own interests with the fight against academy status which they don't agree with. Worse still is that this information was accidentally leaked to the unions! How could that possibly happen? Surely the person responsible for this gross negligence will be disciplined - government ministers have resigned for much less. Even worse still - if this is a "Consultation period" why on earth was the school working up a list? I feel for the staff at the school who once again are being put through bad times by the management of this school again! Year after year they are put through something and yet somehow they still keep turning up and try! It's no wonder things have slipped from a 2 to a 4 in recent years, leadership and management might be judged a 3 in the last report but I bet if there was a strand for HR or people management that would have been off the charts. Good luck people at Darwen Vale - I hope you can keep it up for the Children at your school, no doubt somebody somewhere in the school says the children are the most important thing - shame that people don't recognise the link between staff morale and children outcomes. imo1984
  • Score: 9

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