Staff in RCT Infant and Primary Schools face an anxious couple of months as they wait to see whether or not they face redundancy as a result of the Labour administration's decision to cut nursery education from full to part time as from September.
A timetable issued to Headteachers earlier this week (below) gives schools until the 23rd May to issue any necessary redundancy notices.
It is hard to see how this can be avoided. Schools will only be funded for 15hrs per pupil per week for three year olds as from September. It is very unlikely that money can be found from elsewhere in individual schools budgets to make up the shortfall.
It is inevitable that here will be some teachers and support staff who find themselves unemployed as a result of these plans, and the whole process is going to prove to be a considerable problem for Headteachers and Governing Bodies.
With children age three going full time until September then part time until the term after their fourth birthday, then back to full time, along with children being admitted every term then working out staffing ratios will be a nightmare.
It is obvious that this proposal was put forward and accepted with consideration for the financial side only and nothing else.
DRAFT TIMETABLE Action Required
All Schools - Finance inform schools of their budgets for the new financial year.
Human Resources (HR) informed of possible redundancy situations by schools as soon as they become aware of financial situation in order to arrange meetings with Trade Unions (TUs).
All Schools - General meeting held with all staff to inform them of budget settlement and possible implications. Invitation for individual meeting with Head teacher made available for all staff.
Between 24/03 and 28/03/14
Very latest date for meetings with Head teachers / HR and TUs to discuss budget implications during this week.
Between 31/03 and 11/04/14
Head teacher to make provisional selection of staff for recommendation of redundancy and arrange a meeting with provisionally recommended employee. A review meeting should also be arranged with employee to ensure appropriate consultation at least five working days after first meeting.
Head teacher required to make / confirm selection of staff for recommendation for redundancy, to GB.
Recommendation to GB of an individual selected for redundancy (possibility of appeals). Recommended employee may be present at meeting in order to make a presentation, if they so wish.
Between 15/05 and 22/05/14
Possible appeals against selection for redundancy to be heard by the GB. (If appeal against selection is successful - contact HR urgently, as process will have to be repeated.)
Very latest date to issue redundancy notices - 23/05/2014