Jobs come under spotlight

Scores of staff at two secondary schools face an uncertain future.

A consultation into the future of up to 62 jobs across both Ark William Parker and Helenswood Academies will run over the next several months, it was confirmed this week.

Hastings deserves an outstanding boys’ school and girls’ school and that is what we are setting out to achieve

Mark Phillips

The restructure, which was reported in the

Karen Cooke, GMB convenor, said the union understood that there would be a reduction in staff teaching English, maths and science.

Mark Phillips, principal of William Parker, who is acting as regional director across both schools to oversee the proposed changes, said: “This has been an extremely difficult decision that was taken only after exploring every possible option. We will do all we can to ensure minimal disruption to our students and we will be supporting our staff throughout. Well before becoming academies, our two schools began to see a fall in student numbers, due partly to population changes in East Sussex. This change in student numbers directly affects the amount of funding we receive.

“There is a potential for a reduction in the number of posts in those roles covering English, maths and science but both schools will have teaching in these subjects every day and we will ensure there are enough teachers.

“We will be employing a high level teaching assistant who specialises in numeracy and literacy at each school, as well as teaching assistants who specialise in working with children with complex needs. We will also be employing two pastoral workers at each school.

“Hastings deserves an outstanding boys’ school and girls’ school and that is what we are setting out to achieve.”