Protest over shake-up of special school

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.
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Teachers and support staff are set to demonstrate outside Rotherham Council’s offices today in protest against restructuring plans at one of the town’s special schools.

Changes are planned at Abbey School, Kimberworth – and unions claim almost every teacher will be made redundant.

Abbey was rated ‘good’ in its last inspection, but the council argues a shake-up is needed if it is to become outstanding.

The NUT says consultations, which have just concluded, have been a sham as teachers’ jobs have already been advertised, while support staff are under threat too.

Fred Sprague, NUT divisional secretary, said pupils would be the real victims as relationships with staff they knew well would be lost.

He said: “Rotherham Council and the present interim management of the school seem willing to allow a school judged good by Ofsted in its most recent report to be plunged into chaos.

“It has made a judgement to attempt to sack teachers and to effectively completely change the ethos of the school.”

Teacher Pat McLaughlin said: “Many of these children are very vulnerable.

“I dread to think about the potential results of these changes.”

The NUT says the school and council have refused to enter into negotiations over the proposals.

Dorothy Smith, council director of schools, said: “We put in place an executive headteacher at Abbey to ensure it was delivering the most effective learning for its children. Even good schools need to continually change and develop. Sometimes to become an outstanding school this means reviewing the whole structure of teaching and learning.”