Row erupts at Parrs Wood High School over plans to cut jobs

CREDIT: This story was first seen in the Manchester Evening News

Teachers and parents have criticised plans for trust-level positions while cutting school roles, the Manchester Evening News reports.

A row has erupted at a south Manchester high school after bosses announced plans to axe jobs as part of a staff restructure.

Employees at Parrs Wood High School have issued a vote of ‘no confidence’ to The Greater Manchester Learning Trust – the academy trust in charge of the school.

Parents and teachers have also hit out at academy bosses for appointing trust-level posts while cutting school staff roles.

The trust announced plans to axe the number of teaching assistant plus other staff roles before pupils broke up for February half term.

School bosses are said to have told staff the restructure is necessary to tackle a £200k debt forecast for 2019/20.

A consultation document given to staff said: “As a result of this, some roles and responsibilities need to be amended, some need to be removed and some need to be created in order that the Academy’s resources are more effectively and efficiently deployed so that the needs of our learners, the Academy’s vision and statutory responsibilities can be met both now and in the future.”

Roles under threat include the ‘gifted, talented and more able’ co-ordinator, ‘virtual learning’ co-ordinator and a sixth form leadership co-ordinator.

A school gardener, two music and theatre technicians and a number of administration staff posts also face the axe. Staff hours will also be cut under the proposals.

It is understood staff are preparing to ballot for strike action.

Parents and staff opposed plans to convert Parrs Wood to single-school academy in 2015.

Damien Owen, former head of Manchester Health Academy, was appointed as ‘super-head’ of the school with a view to add more schools to the trust’s portfolio. Yet Parrs Wood is still the only school in the multi-academy trust.

You might also like...  MPs urged to back funding boost for sixth form students

Staff are said to be angry about the appointment of the additional head and other high-level trust positions.

John Morgan, Manchester NUT branch Secretary, said: “Manchester NUT are extremely concerned that only months after we warned against the formation of a MAT, Parrs Wood High School are making redundancies and cutting pay while at the same time creating extremely costly Trust level positions.”

Graham Mellors, a parent of a student at the school, added: “All schools are facing cuts; but Trustees at Parrs Wood seem to want to make it worse by spending money on overpaid trust level posts the School doesn’t need.

“Like me, I’m sure all parents want them to prioritise the staff that make most difference to our children, especially those that need extra support. Parrs Wood teachers and staff are fantastic – Trustees should invest in them first.”

The Greater Manchester Learning Trust and the school were contacted by the Manchester Evening News but did not provide a response.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect with us on LinkedIn!