Jobs under threat at Belper secondary school

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Staff at Belper School and Sixth Form are facing redundancy after governors voted to reduce the number of employees following a drop in the pupils enrolled.

The announcement was made on Friday, with headteacher Martyn Cooper saying: “We have already worked hard to reduce our costs in a number of areas whilst maintaining high standards of education.

“However, it is not possible to make the savings we need without reducing the number of teaching staff we employ.”

This news comes after the number of students has dropped by 10.5 per cent since January 2012 and the funding received from government has also fallen.

In January 2012, there were 1,464 students on site but, this has now dropped to 1,311.

Mr Cooper said a lower birth rate more than a decade ago had caused numbers to tail off.

He said: “The numbers in primary schools have started to increase again and we expect this increase to feed through to our school in about three years’ time.”

In a statement, the school, on John O’Gaunts Way, said there had also been significant increases in costs which it had had to absorb within the budget with no additional funding, such as increases in national insurance and pensions.

Mr Cooper said: “The governors are hopeful that we can manage this situation through voluntary redundancies, but we recognise that unless sufficient volunteers come forward, there will have to be some compulsory redundancies.

“We realise how difficult and disruptive this could be and we will do our utmost to manage the situation with as little impact to staff and the education of students as possible.”

The decision which was made on Monday January 18 by the school governors and was done so “reluctantly” according to the headteacher.

He added: “We are supporting affected staff and we’d like to reassure you that our students’ education continues to be our priority as we strive to be outstanding.”