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School asks staff to consider hours cut

PUBLISHED: 08:32 14 May 2009 | UPDATED: 11:18 08 July 2010

A troubled Norfolk high school is asking teachers and support staff to consider cutting their hours in a bid to reduce costs.

Staff at Hamond's High School in Swaffham were told during daily briefings last week that the school is "currently looking at staffing levels" and investigating if it can be "more efficient in any areas.

A troubled high school is asking teachers and support staff to consider cutting their hours in a bid to reduce costs.

Staff at Hamond's High School in Swaffham were told during daily briefings last week that the school is “currently looking at staffing levels” and investigating if it can be “more efficient in any areas.”

Any member of staff who would like to discuss what the school has termed “voluntary options” has been asked to book a meeting with the interim head teacher Stuart Bailey.

A county council spokesman said that voluntary options did not include voluntary redundancy but “any other options for working which could help them find efficiencies, for example anyone wanting to reduce their hours”.

Mr Bailey said: “It is important for schools to examine and review their staffing levels regularly in order to ensure they are delivering the best possible educational provision for their budget and have the right number of staff in the right areas.

“As part of this process, I have asked any staff who would like to discuss any voluntary options for working to come and talk to me.

“No decisions have yet been reached regarding whether any adjustments need to be made to our staffing levels or in which departments.

“If any changes are made, our priority will be to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on our delivery of the curriculum or the standard of teaching our students receive.”

It is not known how many other schools in Norfolk are currently asking staff to consider voluntary options and the county council has said it does not keep central records on the issue and that it is a matter for the individual schools.

The efficiency drive comes at a difficult time for the 700 pupil school.

Last month the school's head teacher of more than six years, Yvonne Srodzinski, was suspended pending an investigation into her management.

Both the school governors and Norfolk County Council have refused to give an exact reason for her suspension.

They have, however, stressed that it in no way relates to child welfare issues.

Both the governors and the council say that normal procedure is being followed and the suspension is not meant to imply any blame

Earlier this month a plan by governors to apply for foundation status, which would have given them control of the assets of the school and over staffing, was rejected by parents, teachers and members of the public who, among other concerns, said they questioned the governing body's capacity to successfully manage such a change.

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