Many West Sussex schools will be starting formal consultations on likely reorganisations beginning in March.
UNISON fears many schools delayed workforce and resource planning decisions pending the outcome of discussions on transitional funding (in advance of the introduction of the new schools’ funding formula). This now sees changes not taking place until 2018 at the earliest.
West Sussex schools had been hoping for £20m emergency transition funding to be locally applied, before the introduction of the new formula. But at a meeting in early February, Bognor Regis MP and schools’ minister Nick Gibb failed to reassure headteachers this would happen, refusing to grant their request. Even in his own constituency, he will see every school lose out with an average loss for every pupil of £309 in real terms.
Inevitably, we fear this will lead to many major reorganisations and redundancies. We hope this will not be the case, given the outcomes of our recent survey, but we are preparing to support members if needed.
Consultation packs must be published by 15 March latest. Formal consultation on staffing changes must include UNISON representation. Should we find out your school is affected, we will be in contact.
We are currently dealing with 15 schools starting or in formal consultations. This is unprecedented.
It is vitally important that your school elects a rep if you do not have one.