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GMB Slams Walsall Academy For Cutting 13 Vital Classroom Roles Instead of Curbing Fat Cat Pay

Monday, July 23, 2018

We know it is getting increasingly harder for schools to provide a decent education for our children, but the answer is not to take away vital support from the most vulnerable pupils says GMB.

GMB, the union for School Support Staff, has slammed an academy chain’s decision to make 13 vital school support staff redundant.

Bloxwich Academy, in Walsall, has been forced into making the job cuts across its primary and secondary sites after botching their finances.

GMB has been supporting members through the consultation process and tried to work with the school regarding alternative proposals - such as reducing Chief Executive Dame Maureen Brennan 's whopping £150,000 pay packet. [1]

However, the academy’s management did not identify any alternative cost saving measures and only put the redundancies forward as a single option.

While staff have now been told that they will leave at the end of the summer term, it seems parents have not yet been notified of the dismissals.

Following a challenging period, the latest OFSTED inspection has taken the Academy out of special measures.

This is an outstanding achievement and the contribution of support staff has been acknowledged as a contributing factor to this.

Both teachers and Support staff have expressed concerned about what the loss of such large numbers of staff will have on pupil’s education.

Justine Jones, GMB Organiser, said:

“This is a massive blow to our members. They are some of the lowest paid workers at the academy, but consistently go above and beyond the call of duty to support the pupils.”

“They are extremely anxious that this number of redundancies will have a huge impact.

“Not least on the remaining staff who will be expected to pick up the work of those who’ve been dismissed.

“We know it is getting increasingly harder for schools to provide a decent education for our children, but the answer is not to just continually keep attacking the lowest paid workers.

“As a first step, academies should look at their management and administrative costs before looking to take away vital support from the most vulnerable pupils.”

Gill Ogilvie, Prospective Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Walsall North, said:

“Despite the Tories' statements about schools cuts, we know that schools are facing significant pressures on funding

“We are seeing the effect of this right across Walsall and it is our children's education that is suffering as a result.

“As the Tories show no signs of addressing this, it is not going to get better until we get a change of Government.”

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