One hundred students at Tendring school stage walk out in protest of £800,000 staff cuts

Students at Tendring Technology College refused to attend lessons in protest of the planned cuts. Pi

Students at Tendring Technology College refused to attend lessons in protest of the planned cuts. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

One hundred students staged a walk out at an Essex school on Friday to protest £800,000 worth of proposed cuts to teaching staff.

The trust that runs Tendring Technology College (TTC) announced last week that it would be cutting seven teachers and four support staff by September 2018 to balance the school’s budget. A small number of support staff may also have their teaching hours cut.

The Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), which runs TTC, said it was absolutely necessary to make the cuts as the school has a current budget deficit of around £1million.

The students at TTC tweeted that they were desperate to have their voices heard.

One pupil, Beth Parsons, wrote: “I’m from Tendring Technology College and me and many students are protesting against the school/government.”

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Another student, Maisie, added: “[We are] getting told our opinion doesn’t matter!”

In a letter to parents seen by this publication, Principal Mr Muldoon wrote: “The present staffing structure is in excess to the needs of the curriculum and, due to the continuing funding issues facing schools, not sustainable.

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“A period of consultation for members of staff that may be affected has now started.

“Three hundred staff are employed at Tendring Technology College and we are proposing to reduce the number of posts by seven teachers and four support staff, every effort will be made to avoid redundancies.

“A group of students at Frinton campus met this morning in our studio theatre to voice concerns regarding a staffing restructure that the College is consulting on. Unfortunately, students had been given incorrect information. Once spoken to by myself and the student support managers, the organisers returned to lessons having their voices heard.”

The school has about 2,000 pupils and was rated ‘Good’ following its last Ofsted inspection in 2016.

A spokesman for AET said: “We have begun formal consultations at Tendring Technology College on a proposed staffing restructure as a result of significant budgetary pressures.

“The Principal, Michael Muldoon, explained the situation to around 100 students on Friday morning, as they were not given an accurate account of what the proposals are.

“The academy has a current budget deficit of over £1million and a substantial cut in costs is essential. Every effort will be made avoid compulsory redundancies.

“There are claims that we will be cutting the wages of a small number of support staff by 20% but this in incorrect. Our plans are to limit the number of weeks worked in the academic year. The total reduction in costs of the proposed restructuring is over £800,000.

“This difficult situation inevitably creates uncertainties and anxiety which we fully understand.”

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