St Neots students protest to keep teachers' jobs
HUNDREDS of pupils at a failing St Neots school have signed a petition in a bid to save their favourite teachers from being made redundant. St Neots Community College, which earlier this month was placed in special measures, is looking for staff to take
HUNDREDS of pupils at a failing St Neots school have signed a petition in a bid to save their favourite teachers from being made redundant.
St Neots Community College, which earlier this month was placed in special measures, is looking for staff to take voluntary redundancy.
College principal Eueth Forrester said up to five teachers may have to go and 100 hours of teaching assistant time cut.
He said consultation was underway and if enough members of staff volunteered then compulsory redundancies would not have to take place.
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However, students at the school fear all their favourite teachers and other staff will leave.
Year 9 pupil Kirdi Fenna [CORR] feels so passionate about saving one particular member of staff that she started a petition to ensure she stays at the college.
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In just a few days Kirdi collected 500 signatures from fellow students urging Mr Forrester to save the school's isolation worker, Clare Smith.
Kirdi, 14, said: "I have done a petition to try and keep Clare at the school. Everyone loves her and no one wants her to leave."
The youngster, who lives in Eaton Socon, added that Ms Smith, who is also an anger management teacher, had helped her change her attitude and start enjoying school.
She said: "My attitude has completely changed thanks to Clare. Before I was not a very nice child and didn't want to come to school. She turned my life around and now this is the only place I want to be."
The petition was presented to Mr Forrester on Thursday (May 21).
He said Ms Smith's role was funded by the Government's Department for Children, Schools and Families and the school does not have the money to keep her.
He added that although the school was looking into getting funding to pay for her, in the present circumstances she will have to leave at the end of the school year.
Kirdi told The Hunts Posy she would be trying to organise fundraising activities to help pay for Ms Smith to stay at the school.
The youngster said: "No one wants her to go and the school has said they will try their best to secure funding to keep Clare and I want to help in any way I can."
The college has debts of about �800,000 built up over two years and was placed in special measure by Ofsted which found standards at the school were unsatisfactory as were its prospects for improvement.
Work has already started on turning the school around.