Kirkley High headteacher quashes rumours
A HEADTEACHER has quashed mounting speculation that nearly 30 of his staff are being made redundant this summer to meet a budget shortfall.Richard Pickard said there was no truth in rumours that teachers or support staff at Kirkley High School, in Lowestoft, were losing their jobs, although up to 18 members of staff could be leaving at the end of the academic year.
A HEADTEACHER has quashed mounting speculation that nearly 30 of his staff are being made redundant this summer to meet a budget shortfall.
Richard Pickard said there was no truth in rumours that teachers or support staff at Kirkley High School, in Lowestoft, were losing their jobs, although up to 18 members of staff could be leaving at the end of the academic year.
The high school, in Kirkley Run, has been at the centre of controversy since it was revealed in December it is facing a substantial deficit, believed to be in the region of �500,000.
A recovery plan was put in place and assistant head Jeremy Walden confirmed in May that jobs had to go to balance the books.
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But last night Mr Pickard revealed that although he would be losing a significant amount of staff, none were through forced redundancy.
Instead he expressed his delight that six teachers had achieved recognition through securing promotion, while three new teaching appointments have already been made at the school ready for the autumn term.
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He said: 'We have not made any teachers redundant and we have not made any support staff redundant. There are three people who have volunteered for redundancy on the support staff side, but they have yet to be considered by the governing body, no decisions have been made.
'As far as other members of staff leaving, there are a significant number who are leaving, but that is only because of changes in circumstance. Four members of staff have resigned or retired, six have gained promotion, two members of staff for personal reasons are returning to South Africa and a further three people, who have been on fixed term contracts, won't be renewing them.
'The normal turnover at the end of the school year is usually in double figures and there is a specific hand in date for resignation. If someone wishes to leave at the end of the academic year they must hand their resignation in by the half term of the summer term.
'I guess with the number of issues we have had during the course of this year people have potentially made up their mind to move, but I doubt it, nobody has said anything like that to me.'
Mr Pickard, who inherited the financial problems upon his appointment to the school last year, admitted balancing the budget was 'something that should have been done years ago.'
He added that staff leavers would inevitably help in the future but stated he would not be attempting to recover the deficit.
'That's the least of my priorities. The most important thing is maintaining the quality of education and safeguarding our teachers and children,' he added.