Strike at Sheffield school over plans ‘to make 15 teachers redundant’

Staff at a Sheffield secondary who are due to walk out on strike later this month say they are doing so in an attempt to prevent 15 teachers losing their job.

Members of the National Education Union at Bradfield School have voted in favour of strike action on Wednesday, March 27 in a dispute over the compulsory redundancies of 15 teachers.

Bradfield School

Bradfield School

Bosses at Bradfield School have set out proposals to close their sixth form, blaming the ‘drastic and regrettable’ move on a lack of funding and difficulties in recruiting enough students.

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But union officials said they were also concerned about what they say is ‘poor financial management’ that has ‘jeopardised both the education of youngsters and livelihoods of teachers’.

Toby Mallinson, joint branch secretary for Sheffield National Education Union said: “Reluctantly, members of the National Education Union have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action at Bradfield School. 

“Amid a national teacher shortage, Bradfield’s governors and leadership have informed staff that 15 teachers may lose their jobs and morale is understandably at rock bottom in the school.

“Our members care passionately about this community and have taught generations of youngsters in the area. Through no fault of their own, they face the potential loss of their jobs.”

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Mr Mallinson said the union was also ‘disappointed’ that the school chose not to hold a public meeting over its proposals to close the sixth form and added it had also asked for ‘full disclosure of the school’s financial accounts.

He added: “Teachers only strike as a last resort and when they have no other options and we are seeking to avert industrial action through negotiations with the employer.

“That’s why we will do everything that we can to avoid it and hope that the school is genuinely interested in working with us to solve the dispute”.

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In a letter to parents, the school said it was hoping to keep the school open to sixth form and Year 11 pupils.

The letter said: “The school cannot be closed ‘in sympathy’ with the strike and we will not do so. Our main concern however is the safety of our students and the levels of supervision that can be maintained.”