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Job losses loom at three coastal schools during Covid-19 pandemic

PUBLISHED: 10:04 22 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:04 22 June 2020

Great Yarmouth Primary Academy, an Inspiration Trust school, and one of three in the Great Yarmouth area that could see job losses under a consultation Picture: Angela Sharpe Photography

Great Yarmouth Primary Academy, an Inspiration Trust school, and one of three in the Great Yarmouth area that could see job losses under a consultation Picture: Angela Sharpe Photography

Angela Sharpe Photography

A trio of Norfolk schools pressing ahead with restructuring consultation plans during the Covid-19 outbreak say there could be job losses as they look to improve standards.

Job losses are possible at Great Yarmouth Primary Academy., but the academy trust behind a consultation says the aim is to drive up standards Picture: Angela Sharpe PhotographyJob losses are possible at Great Yarmouth Primary Academy., but the academy trust behind a consultation says the aim is to drive up standards Picture: Angela Sharpe Photography

The Inspiration Trust academy chain says it is consulting on how three of its coastal primary schools will work.

It said in a statement: “The aim of these proposed changes is to raise standards and improve the education of children.

“Sadly, this means we could lose some roles, increase the hours of some people and reduce others.

“As part of our proposals we would also like to create 14 education support jobs and five teaching roles across Great Yarmouth Primary Academy (GYPA), Cobholm Academy and Stradbroke Academy.

Stradbroke Primary Academy in Gorleston is one of three Inspiration Trust schools in the Yarmouth are seeing a staff consultation Picture: Archant archiveStradbroke Primary Academy in Gorleston is one of three Inspiration Trust schools in the Yarmouth are seeing a staff consultation Picture: Archant archive

“We have recruited new teacher posts this academic year across these schools to ensure that class sizes are reduced and high quality teaching is prioritised.

“This has been an unprecedented increase in teachers in schools where great teachers are needed most.

“In addition, we would like to increase support for the most vulnerable, with additional posts to support these groups in each school.

The trust went on to say the policy was not a result of the pandemic, but a bid “to improve the quality of education provided to children on the coast.”

It said changes applied to GYPA, Cobholm, and Stradroke primary schools and were not being rolled out across all of its Norfolk settings.

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The consultation was at an early stage and there had been no decisions around redundancies.

Commenting on the shake-up in more detail the spokesman said the proposals aimed to create five teachers, one parent support officer, one attendance officer, three inclusion support staff, one administrator, five classroom assistants, two special educational needs (SEN) classroom assistants, and one higher level teaching assistant.

But it stressed there had been no decisions around redundancies or new roles.

The statement added: “We are proposing to increase the number of teachers and support for vulnerable children with additional posts to support these groups in each school.

“To do this, we need to review how we work currently. This is what led to our consultation.

“Our proposals to increase the number of teachers across the schools will improve standards.”

However one person who contacted this newspaper said news of potential job losses was “extremely worrying” especially during the pandemic, a period of huge disruption.

“Making staff redundant in the teaching profession is criminal.

“Schools shouldn’t be treated like businesses, we have to protect the future for our next generation,” they added.

GYPA is in Ofsted special measures and Cobholm “requires improvement.”

Stradbroke was handed a “Good” rating following its last inspection in 2017.


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