JFS is to lay off both teaching and non-teaching staff after an email to parents said austerity cuts meant the school “must take action swiftly” to reduce expenditure.
It is understood that while up to 40 staff members will be affected, only around 15 will be made redundant, with the number of teachers laid off being less than ten. These will be in curriculum areas where there is an over-supply of teachers, and the school is hopeful that most will be through voluntary redundancies, which it is offering.
The school, which is urgently seeking to raise funds, said it was being hit by the Government’s forthcoming National Schools Funding Formula. This reallocates money to the neediest children in every borough, but JFS has the lowest percentage of needy children in Brent, so is expected to be among the hardest hit.
The sweeping changes were announced by new headteacher Deborah Lipkin, who tried to reassure parents that it would not affect teaching.
In an email, Lipkin said a new non-teaching staff structure would be in-place in two months’ time, and that those laid off would be gone by 31 August, but that the school’s performance would not be affected.
“The proposed changes will ensure that we have the levels of teaching staff that will fully meet our needs in all curriculum areas, and will not have an impact on classroom teaching,” she said.
A JFS staff-member, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It’s the worst place to work. There is no job security. Staff are being asked to take voluntary redundancy.”
They added: “If something needs to be purchased by a department, such as to replace broken equipment, it is denied. The department is told the school has no money to purchase anything. No one is happy and many are looking for other jobs.”
Announcing a 30-day consultation, Lipkin said that “increased costs across the public sector that we now face, mean that we must take action swiftly to reduce our expenditure… Unfortunately, this has led us to the position of having to consider reducing the number of staff, both teaching and non-teaching”.