Staff are ‘demoralised, frustrated and angry’ says union rep amid potential redundancies

Unison branch secretary, Mark Chiverton said support staff “are very demoralised, frustrated and angry that yet again they are bearing the main brunt of these cuts”. The school say no decisions have been made yet

Mrs Westcott-Hayes

Demoralised support staff fear they will bear the main brunt of any cuts as The Bay CE School considers potential redundancies.

A major staffing restructure has been proposed for the Sandown school in 2020/21, across both primary and secondary sites, which is feared to have a negative impact on the schools special education needs (SEN) provisions.

A statement from the school confirmed the restructure, but did not comment on individual proposals.

It is thought a number of technician and site staff, as well as four teachers and five learning support assistants — nearly half the SEN support team — could potentially be in the firing line.

Staff are “demoralised, frustrated and angry”
Unison branch secretary, Mark Chiverton said support staff have already faced considerable cutbacks to their pay and conditions — “they are very demoralised, frustrated and angry that yet again they are bearing the main brunt of these cuts,” he said.

“They are also very concerned about the impact this leaves on the fabric of the school and the delivery of education services.

“They have a deep concern this could have a disproportionate impact on those with special needs, many of whom are very vulnerable.”

Proposals may not be approved
The proposals are only part of a consultation and may not be approved but it is thought the school needs to get its staffing budget in line with the Isle of Wight Council’s expectations.

When the council took back control of the school from Academies Enterprise Trust in 2018, staffing costs equated to 102 per cent of the overall school budget — the school is now expected to fall in line with the council’s standard 80 per cent.

Concern for SEN unit
A question mark is also looming over the future of the SEN unit for children with particular special needs, The Cove.

With fewer staff there are fears those affected won’t get the help they need.

School statement
A joint statement from Duncan Mills, executive headteacher and Teresa Westcott-Hayes, head of school (pictured) said:

“We confirm The Bay CE School has issued a consultation document for a proposed staff restructure.

“We are looking for viable solutions to our inherited deficit position. The school will take all reasonable steps to mitigate against any compulsory redundancies where possible.

“At this stage no decisions have been made and we will not comment on individual proposals.

“However, we can give absolute assurance that the best interests of our students remain at the centre of what we do.”

This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed

Thursday, 27th February, 2020 3:38pm



Filed under: Education, Isle of Wight News, Sandown, Top story, Youth

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6 Comments on "Staff are ‘demoralised, frustrated and angry’ says union rep amid potential redundancies"

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Geoff Brodie

As a start, perhaps not having two ‘chiefs’ – an Executive Headteacher and a Head of School – would save a fair bit ? That is probably a six-figure salary.


Nothing like demoralising staff

Benny C

Well it will help pay for the Councillors pay rise and expenses ( it’s not so cheap to get to Jersey, then there’s the Mercedes taxi to the airport etc) so I guess they don’t have much choice. It is I suspect a trough in which snouts are already burrowing.


How sad – relatively low paid staff, sacrificed at the altar of an over-paid and over-staffed senior management team. I recommend you look up the salary of the ‘Executive Head Teacher’ – Duncan Mills

Mr Magoo

Normally OTW takes care to use imaginative or relevant images to illustrate articles but an unidentified smiling person at the head of a story which begins “Demoralised support staff fear…” looks out of place.
However, Geoff Brodie’s comment merits a thumbs up but I admit schools’ hierarchies are a mystery to me. Who does what and why and where and when does the buck stop?

What short memories people have, less than 2 years ago the secondary school was set for closure meaning an awful lot of people would have lost their job and there would be no secondary provision in Sandown. I don’t believe there was a long line of people willing to take on a school that had been a cause for concern for a number of years. It’s so… Read more »