Teachers scrap walkouts in row over plans to slash jobs

INDUSTRIAL action by teachers at a South Yorkshire school, which was meant to take place this week, has been called off – but another strike could still take place after Easter.

Almost 40 members of staff at Rawmarsh Community School in Rotherham walked out last month over plans proposed by the governors and new headteacher Dr Stuart Wilson to slash 25 per cent of teaching posts, in order to clear a £1.3m budget deficit.

But walkouts due to take place today, tomorrow and Thursday have now been cancelled after negotiations between the National Union of Teachers (NUT), the school and Rotherham Council resulted in the last remaining compulsory redundancy planned for April being withdrawn.

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The NUT says strikes will resume after the school Easter holidays if plans continue to implement more redundancies in August.

Ian Stevenson, NUT regional secretary, said: “The agreement reached provides time for the employer to find a way to avoid further job cuts.”

Problems have arisen at Rawmarsh Community School which is in the red because of falling pupil numbers, an inherited deficit and the loss of a number of grants.

Earlier plans to tackle the deficit by the former headteacher John Lambert met with opposition from the school’s governing body and so were not put in place.

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In a statement Dorothy Smith, Rotherham Council’s senior director of schools, said: “We have been working closely with the school to try and resolve the issues the school faces in relation to its budget position, caused by the reduction in pupil numbers and national funding changes.

“It would appear that despite everyone’s best efforts, redundancies will be necessary.”