Sheffield school pupils rebel over claims member of staff could be axed

Sheffield Park Academy.
Sheffield Park Academy.
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Hundreds of school pupils have backed a campaign to save a popular member of staff from redundancy amid claims his job could be at risk.

Students at Sheffield Park Academy say Dexter Greaves, believed to be an engagement officer, is at risk of being made redundant as part of a round of job cuts.

A spokesperson for United Learning, which runs the 1000-pupil secondary school in Manor Park, confirmed the staff team is undergoing a restructure affecting 11 non-teaching roles.

Two online petitions have now been launched on the change.org website and have had more than 700 signatures. Students plan to present the petitions to school bosses in a bid to convince them to rethink their plans.

Chelsea Allen, who created the petitions, said the youngsters are "utterly devastated" and added: "Let's get this stopped."

She said: "This school will never ever be the same without him. Not one parent agrees with him leaving this school."

Others spoke out in support of Mr Greaves.

Jamie Jones said: "I believe this man is a credit to the community and has helped many young children to build a better future for themselves."

Joseph Souassou worked there as a supply teacher and said pupils "always talked about Dexter and how he's getting them through their GCSEs."

A spokesman for Sheffield Park Academy said Mr Greaves has not been made redundant, nor has any other member of staff. However there is currently a restructure underway which affects 11 positions at the school.

He added: "The school is currently undergoing a small restructuring of some support staff functions which began this week. The consultation process around this will take several weeks and no decisions will be made on redundancies during this time.

"As you would expect we are working closely with the trade unions, staff representatives and other appropriate parties to ensure we do this appropriately and fairly for all those staff concerned."

He said the consultation is concerned with "posts and job roles not individual people" so a post may be lost but the person in that job may be deployed elsewhere within the academy.