Wednesday 16 October 2013

Now Copland support staff face the axe - next teaching assistants?

Guest blog by 'Mistleflower'
The cull in the summer resulted in the end in Copland losing around  60 staff, most taking ‘voluntary’ redundancy either because they were desperate to get away from the last regime’s shambolic mismanagement or they saw the way the wind was blowing with the new one (cut Copland to the bone, close it down, flog it off). Many of the teachers who left were happy, like myself, to do supply teaching rather than stay.

I now hear that Phase 2 of the process has begun. Around 50  support staff have been informed that 32 of them are to be made redundant. These include such people as library staff, pastoral support workers, science technicians, mentoring staff, caretakers, ICT technicians and, ( in the week that ex-Copland footballer Raheem Sterling was included in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the World Cup qualifier), the football coach. Apart from the obviously essential nature of their work, people like these liaise with parents at difficult times, help motivate students, keep them on track and generally promote the social cohesion which is at the heart of any school community. ( Those wielding the axe might need  to look up those two words ‘heart’ and ‘community’).

As in July, in all of this, agreed procedures are being ignored, possibly illegally.

Phase 3, it has apparently already been announced, will take the axe to the Teaching Assistants, the staff who provide in-class support for children with special learning, language or emotional needs, ( Every Child Matters is soooo last century).
After that? Well, what remains of the place is still sitting in a very nice location and the few staff who remain can maybe get jobs helping to clear the site for the next Carpet Warehouse. One way or another, it looks like it will be an Absolute Return for someone, but clearly  not for the current kids and staff at Copland.

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