“School merger will not mean job losses”
HEAD teachers have given assurances that the merger between Harborough schools Robert Smyth Academy and Welland Park Academy will not result in job losses.
At a public meeting on Thursday, head teachers Colin Dean and Julie McBrearty, governors and senior staff were quizzed by parents on what would happen to staff should the two schools merge.
Both Mr Dean, head teacher at Robert Smyth, and Miss McBrearty, principal at Welland Park, said there would be no redundancies.
The merger, being proposed and consulted on at the moment, could take place by September 2014.
At the meeting, held at Welland Park Academy, one parent asked for more details about the practical changes that would come about as a result of the merger.
Mr Dean said: “There is going to be great continuity across all the curriculum areas and we will have mechanisms in place to check this.”
He said there will be staff from Welland Park teaching at Robert Smyth and vice versa.
Mr Dean said they would have understanding of teaching at Key Stage 3 [Years 7,8 and 9] and Key Stage 4 [Years 10-11] level.
The head teachers were asked for assurances that any financial savings resulting from the merger would be reinvested in to the school.
Mr Dean said: “Our job is to maximise any funding we can get. I can guarantee that any money made from the merger will go back into supporting outcomes.”
Dave Hedley, chairman of governors at Welland Park, said: “Everything is about student experience, nothing else.”
One parent asked about capacity issues should the merger go ahead.
Mr Dean said: “We could both grow. We could both accept more students if we needed to. We have the space.”
Parents asked how staff felt about the merger and whether they would be employed by the new academy as a whole.
The staff would be employed by the newly-named The Market Harborough Academy, the head teachers said.
Miss McBrearty added: “Nobody has been made to teach across the Key Stages. Some are excited and embracing the opportunity to teach younger ones and others want to teach older ones.”
The heads said work has already taken place to ensure a smooth transition to a joint academy but one parent said this work needed to be more visible.
Mr Hedley said both schools have been working with Harborough primary schools to keep them in the loop.
The meeting was not well-attended with only about a dozen members of the public there.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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