Ramsey: Redundancies at Abbey College

TEACHERS are to be made redundant at Abbey College in Ramsey. And further teaching staff could be served with redundancy notices at other Huntingdonshire schools as headteachers and governors try to balance the books. Abbey College headteacher Wayne Bi

TEACHERS are to be made redundant at Abbey College in Ramsey.

And further teaching staff could be served with redundancy notices at other Huntingdonshire schools as headteachers and governors try to balance the books.

Abbey College headteacher Wayne Birks said this week that seven and a half teaching posts would have to go.

He said the move was to make savings and because pupil numbers have been falling at the college for the past three years.

"I flagged this up with staff in early January," he said, "I looked at the school roll and the school numbers are down.

"The staff have been very realistic and pragmatic and we have had some very helpful conversations about what people want to do in the long term."

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Mr Birks said that when the school opened three years ago (after a merger between the former Ramsey Abbey and Alwyn schools) there were 1,800 pupils. Now there were 1,500.

"There has been a demographic change," said Mr Birks. "The population has been growing in other parts of Cambridgeshire but the birth rate in Ramsey has been falling.

"People also can not move to places where there is a shortage of housing, but like all trends in around 18 months it will platter out."

He said another issue was funding as no matter who is running the country after this year's general election, it is unlikely that there will be more money.

"We are being prudent about the future," he added.

However, Mr Birks said that academically, the school was stronger than it had ever been.

"We have 64 per cent of our pupils staying on into the sixth form, that is the highest that it has ever been and this is because pupils in year 11 have enjoyed being here at the school and are enthusiastic to carry on and our GCSE and A level results have been improving each year."

As reported in The Hunts Post last week, 11 teaching posts and four assistant teacher posts are to be shed at St Neots Community College.

A spokesman for the local education authority at Cambridgeshire County Council said other schools, including junior schools, were likely to have to make cutbacks because of the low level of Government funding and falling school numbers.

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