‘Bolt from the blue’ as Academy Transformation Trust announced dozens of school staff redundancies

Ian Cleland of the Academy Transformation Trust. Picture: Ian Burt

Ian Cleland of the Academy Transformation Trust. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

An academy trust with a cluster of schools in our region is planning dozens of redundancies at the same time as creating two new regional director posts with 'attractive' salaries.

The Academy Transformation Trust (ATT) sponsors the Nicholas Hamond Academy in Swaffham, Iceni Academy in Methwold, and Mildenhall College Academy, and five nearby primaries.

It yesterday told staff across its 20 academies nationwide that 33 support staff roles were at risk as it seeks to cope with 'significant financial challenges' all schools are facing.

Chief executive Ian Cleland said the restructure was for the longer term because it could deliver human resources, finance and site management more cost effectively on a regional basis.

Jon Richards, head of education at Unison, said: 'This decision has come as a bolt from the blue, and will have left hundreds of staff feeling shocked and disorientated.


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'The severe cuts of £500,000 a year mean school support staff will either lose their jobs, or have to apply for new ones, some on much less pay. The top two highest paid executives at ATT earned £360,000 a year between them – roughly three quarters of the cuts being proposed.'

It comes as the trust seeks two new regional improvement directors for the primary and secondary sectors in the east of England.

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Mr Cleland said one equivalent post was being cut elsewhere, and the primary post addressed a particular need in Thetford, where two ATT primaries received government warning notices last year over standards.

He added: 'There are some quite great challenges for us in Thetford, and therefore we want to strengthen primary in the eastern region, because we need to put a bit more expertise and capacity in.'

Do you have an education story? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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