Teacher '˜sickened' by closure process

A teacher at a Wigan school which could be closed down has slammed the way the staff have been treated.

Wednesday, 9th November 2016, 2:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:21 pm
Shevington Community Primary School

A teacher at a Wigan school which could be closed down has slammed the way the staff have been treated.

In an open letter, the teacher, who is not named, has criticised Wigan Council and their employees at Shevington Community Primary for not informing the staff first that the outstanding school had been recommended for closures.

The letter relates to the announcement made in October in a report for Wigan Council’s cabinet that revealed the results of a consultation on the provision of school places in Shevington.

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The report revealed that CPS had been recommended for closure and asked cabinet to approve a move to a formal consultation.

But the teacher claims that many staff at the school were not informed before the release of the report and found out through the grapevine, from parents or the media.

The letter reads: “We live in such uncertain times, money it tight and jobs are scarce, so being employed in a job you love is the dream, or so you might think.

“But when closure is looming and redundancy is on the cards I assumed employees would be kept in the loop and informed.

“However, this has not been the case. It seems the staff were not given a second thought; no kind of goodwill or respect of services.

“In fact, there wasn’t much duty of care towards staff at all. It is sickening that employers can treat hard working staff with so much disregard.

“All of us devote so much of our lives, energy and time in what we do; through sickness and difficult times we dig deep and continue.

“Now we find all our hard work has meant nothing at all to the people making the decisions.

“To announce the proposal of closure of a school to the public and media before alerting the affected employees is beyond contempt.

“Some staff were told by parents, some found out through the media and others heard on the grapevine that their livelihoods were at risk; to treat loyal and hardworking employees this way is just unacceptable.

“I can honestly say I have never felt so utterly let down, dejected or felt so unappreciated in all my life.

“We will not stop giving our all, we will continue to do so throughout. All we ask is to be treated fairly and given a chance to fight or to prepare for what is to come.”

But the council has said it wasn’t possible to inform the school before the cabinet papers were released.

Alan Lindsay, assistant director for education, said: “We are working closely with the school, school leaders, governors and community representatives to ensure that all communication is open and they are informed about what is happening.

“Prior to the cabinet papers becoming public it was not possible to inform colleagues of the proposals and we have met with them to explain this process.

“School leaders were aware that the proposals were being discussed at cabinet and that a decision would be made on that day.”

The council has argued that closing the school in necessary to prevent Shevington Federation, which also includes Millbrook and Vale, from ending up with a £500k deficit by the 2019/20 school year.

But parents, teachers and residents are opposed to the plan and want to keep all three schools open.

The formal consultation runs from Thursday November 10.