Staff And Pupils 'Sacrificed' Over Salford Academy's Financial Failure
An academy in Salford is sacking 13 staff as a result of "serious management failure" over its financial budget, as teachers stage a fourth day of strikes over the cuts, unions claim.
Members of teaching unions NASUWT and NUT set up their picket line outside the Media City Oasis Academy in Manchester to protest against the "massive disruption".
Some of the staff, who will be leaving the school in two days' time, have found other jobs but six are being made redundant. The final day of strikes on Thursday is a "last-ditch attempt to save teaching jobs", according to NASUWT.
General secretary of the union Chris Keates said both teachers and pupils faced a "bleak new year" and accused the school of "sacrificing" staff and students.
"The pupils face massive disruption to their timetables and the delivery of their curriculum entitlement after Christmas cannot be guaranteed.
"I raised the dire situation at the school with the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, last week and I have written to him formally today requesting him to intervene to seek to prevent the chaos and disruption that will be caused by such significant levels of staff loss", she continued.
According to Keates, Oasis "pressed ahead" with appointing individuals to high-salaried posts, despite local taxpayers and schools reportedly being left to plug a financial deficit of more than £1m.
"A relatively small amount of money, around £120,000, is needed to tide the school over while a longer term solution is found", Keates continued. "Had the school still been part of a local authority family of schools, I have no doubt the necessary short-term small financial cushion could have been found."
The union leader added the government's current quango for funding academies failed to provide protection for schools experiencing difficulties.
"Questions need to be asked about how an academy was allowed to get into this situation."
A spokesman for Oasis Academy MediaCityUK confirmed the redundancies due to a combination of "inherent overstaffing and Government cuts".
“The Academy is presently in negotiations with teaching unions over the redundancy process. We are disappointed the issue could not be resolved without strike action and disruption to teaching.
“The Academy remains 100% committed and focused on its targets to continue to improve educational standards and exam results."