Job losses feared at Iceni Academy in Methwold as ‘reorganisation process’ begins


- Credit: Archant

An academy trust has said one of its Norfolk schools is currently in consultation with staff over proposals which could result in job losses.

A “reorganisation process” could affect both teaching and non-teaching staff posts at the Iceni Academy in Methwold, near Thetford, which is run by the Birmingham-based Academy Transformation Trust (ATT).

ATT have said the proposals “align structures, roles and responsibilities to the future needs of the academy”.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT), who are involved in the consultation, have said the restructuring could see at least three teaching jobs lost.

Claire Pritchard, chief operating officer at ATT, said: “Like every school across the country, we must deal with real-term funding cuts in a responsible way to ensure pupil’s education is not disrupted.”

There are also proposals to reduce the number of Learning Support Assistants (LSA) at the school’s primary site in Hockwold.

ATT have said there are currently enough LSAs to have “between two and three” per class which is “well above national average and expectation”.

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Mrs Pritchard added: “We will offer redeployment opportunities within the trust where possible to mitigate compulsory redundancies. Overall, the proposals will ensure the academy budget will no longer be in deficit and is therefore sustainable for the future.”

In August 2016 ATT suspended the school’s sixth form due to poor student numbers.

At the time Ian Cleland, the trust’s chief executive, said he hoped numbers would improve so the sixth form could re-open this year.

A spokesman for NUT said: “Iceni is restructuring due to proposed funding gaps. The impact is at least three teachers.

“The school have been proactive and transparent in the process. Members are rightfully concerned and worried but have appreciated the support from management. As a result, the NUT are aware that some members have volunteered for more information regarding some of the various options open to restaffing.”

Though there was speculation about the impact on creative subjects, Mrs Pritchard added: “The arts form an important part of the curriculum, and provision for arts and technology subjects will continue.”