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AXMINSTER: College to axe 12 jobs

Friday, 21 February 2014


Axe Valley Community College is set to slash 12 jobs.
The college currently employs about 110 staff, and they were told about the situation last week.
Headteacher Martin Smith said on Friday: “I can confirm that the college has commenced a formal consultation with a view to reduce our staffing levels by approximately 12 by September.
“Reductions are likely to include both teaching and support staff.
“As headteacher this is something you always hope to avoid, especially when you have such a hard-working, dedicated and professional team of staff.
“It is my job to lead the college through these challenges.
“Working with governors, I have developed new staffing structures, that we are consulting on, that will continue to drive the college forward and give students first-class teaching and excellent enrichment opportunities.”
Mr Smith said reduced government funding was the main reason and stressed the problem is not specific to Axe Valley Community College.
He explained: “Recently my colleague Paul Evans, headteacher of Colyton Grammar School, wrote to local MPs warning that changes in government funding were having severe financial consequences for smaller schools, especially grammar schools.
“Many of the pressures that Mr Evans identifies are being felt across the board in Devon schools.
“Like Colyton, our funding is being reduced significantly.
“A reduction in Sixth Form funding combined with increasing staffing and energy costs mean the college faces some tough challenges.
“For many non-selective schools in east Devon, there is the added pressure of fewer children coming through of secondary school age, which of course has a significant impact on our income.”
Mr Smith said that the need to reduce staff numbers didn’t come as a surprise to anyone involved.
He said: “The college and its governors have been pro-active over the last few years to ensure that the reduction in funding is managed in a way that protects the quality of education we provide.
“Like all schools, we will have to cut our cloth accordingly.”

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