A SUNDERLAND academy is to axe jobs to cope with a drop in pupil numbers.
Academy 360 in Pennywell has confirmed it is to make redundancies, with union Unison claiming the school will shed 14 teaching staff and 16 non-teaching staff.
Ken Gibson, executive headteacher of Academy 360, said “Following a decline in our pupil numbers and therefore a reduction in Government grant, we have had to take the difficult decision to reduce our workforce.
“This has been compounded by Government proposals to reform school funding arrangements under which Academy 360 fares particularly poorly.
“Academy 360 is certainly not unique in this situation. This is a problem that is affecting many schools and academies.
“As a consequence, we have notified our staff today of potential job losses and opened up consultations with our Trade Union colleagues with a view to doing all we can to deal with this in a way that will minimise the impact to our staff and pupils.”
He added: “I would like to emphasise the fact that Academy 360 has been going from strength to strength and our results reflect this. I can assure parents that the standards of teaching will not be impacted upon.”
But Unison said it had real fears the Academy, which opened in 2008 and has 1056 pupils aged four to 16, would see a dip in performance as a result of the job losses.
Diane Peacock, Unison branch secretary, said, “the news of the redundancies across both teaching and non teaching staff is shocking. The last Ofsted report showed that it was improving across the board.
“It is difficult to see how this can be maintained with the number of posts being lost.
“The announcement comes on top of rumours that the Academy is suffering a serious financial deficit.
“Our members are obviously very worried especially given their commitment to delivering quality services at the Academy. This is another example why Academies are a bad idea for the future of our children and staff employed by them.”