‘Vote of no confidence’ as Kenton School academy will trust the loss of 43 employees amid financial turmoil

Teachers have cast a vote of no confidence as a chain of academies which runs one of Newcastle’s largest schools is forced to lose staff.

The Kenton Schools Multi Academy Trust oversees the Kenton School, as well as the Studio West School, in West Denton.

Faced with a budget deficit of £ 356,000, it is expected to cut 43 teaching and support staff positions by the next academic year out of its 275 staff.

For the leaders, it will be a question of not renewing 13 fixed-term contracts which expire, as well as of redeploying and managing a “natural turnover from year to year”.

But they recognize that some layoffs are possible.

Kenton School in Newcastle Upon Tyne

Following the announcement, members of the National Education Union (NEU) at Kenton School unanimously accepted a vote of no confidence in “the school’s strategic leadership and financial management.”

But Kevin McDermid, acting CEO of the academy trust, said responsibility for the issues lay with the managers of the trust, not the governors or principal of the Kenton school.

Of these, the former chief executive retired in August, while the chairman of the trust and another director resigned at the end of December.

Mr McDermid said the trust has now appointed a new chairman, a new interim CEO, a new finance director and two new directors / directors with “extensive experience in school organization and financial management.”

He added: “We fully understand why the NEU members are angry and why they are wondering how this situation came about. “

He said the deficit carried forward was less than 3% of the trust’s £ 13million budget. He blamed “national cuts in education funding” as well as rising costs for the depletion of the trust’s cash reserves.

It is also understood that the £ 1million portion of Kenton School’s budget handed over directly to the company that built it under its PFI (private finance initiative) contract has contributed to financial pressures on the trust.

Now executives say a plan to straighten the trust’s finances has been approved by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

Mr McDermid said: “We have submitted a detailed stimulus plan to ESFA and they have expressed complete confidence in this plan.”

In a letter to parents at Kenton School earlier this month, leaders insisted they were trying to minimize the impact of staff losses on students as much as possible.

The letter read, “While all of our staff contribute to our student experience at Kenton, we have worked hard to ensure that we retain positions that focus on delivering quality education and our key goals. ” ensure good results for all our students.

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