Teaching jobs to be axed in Sunderland

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A MULTIMILLION-POUND flagship academy is to axe teachers amid concerns about falling pupil numbers.

Academy 360 in Pennywell today said that it was examining the possibility of removing up to 14 teaching and non-teaching roles.

The school, which employs 159 people, it is now in talks with unions and staff.

The school claims, because of funding issues, it can no longer maintain the number of teachers it has.

A statement regarding the situation at the Portsmouth Road school, said: “Academy 360 has today entered into consultation with its staff and unions to address some issues that the academy is facing.

“Reflecting a decline in the general local population, student numbers at Academy 360 are falling. At the same time, the academy is required to make changes to its curriculum.

“As a consequence of these facts, the academy may need fewer teachers in certain areas in the future.

“Also, Academy 360 has been supporting teachers with light timetables for the past two years and with less funding available than in the past, its capacity to continue to do so has diminished.

“It is in this context that the academy has entered into a period of consultation with staff and unions that will conclude by the end of May. We are absolutely committed to working closely with all parties involved, to address the issues outlined above and reach an agreed solution.”

Mike Johnson, Sunderland area representative of the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers, NASUWT, said the news of potential redundancies at the school had come as a huge surprise to members.

He said: “It came as a complete shock to the union as the school is well established and has a very favourable financial situation as far as we are aware.

“All we know is that the school is thinking about making redundancies, we are due to have talks with the school and obviously we are hoping to be doing what we can to reduce the impact on members as much as possible.”