Hawthorn Infants School

A falling roll and funding cuts led to a restructure at this school. Initial proposals – not originally shared with the union – estimated four full-time equivalent (fte) job losses. However, once the union had clarified the agreed consultation process, it became apparent that fewer redundancies would have to be made.

School managers felt unsupported by Capita HR, having no formal guidance from them and with none of their representatives attending meetings. UNISON believes this is primarily because WSCC is not resourcing the contract properly and has not insourced it. UNISON has raised our concerns with the director of education and skills. In the absence of HR, the union defaulted to be the main source of advice, having to explain the formal process to ensure our members were treated fairly.

The preliminary result was that only one fte job would have to go but following discussions with UNISON and the school, it is now looking very likely that this role can be slotted in after all, resulting in no compulsory redundancies required at all – quite a turnaround!

Anecdotal feedback tells us that very few heads are happy with the level of HR support now offered to schools by WSCC through Capita.