Brent teachers protest at plans to axe 22 posts from Crest Girls

Staff have voted to strike at the planned cuts

Teachers descended on the headquarters of the education charity E-Act to protest at plans to axe up to 22 posts from Crest Girls Academy as staff voted overwhelmingly to go on strike.

The cuts, which will see the closure of the nursery and three senior manager posts culled at the school in Crest Road, Willesden, were met with anger from teachers who said it would undermine teaching at the school.

Gene Roberts, joint NUT and ATL Brent branch secretary, said the cuts highlighted the financial difficulties faced by academies after the initial higher levels of government funding they receive runs out.

She said: “The clear thing from this is that if you become an academy your money is not there forever. The schools in Brent who are thinking about going down this route need to realise there is a finite end to the extra money.”

“I believe that think the new Arc Academy in Wembley will be taking many pupils who would otherwise have come to Crest – it has affected intake at the schools that are already in Brent.

A spokeswoman for E-Act said the cuts were a result of facing a shortfall in funding based on the loss of grants and a drop in pupil numbers, and the demands of reorganising its curriculum to meet the more rigorous demands of the English Baccalaureate.

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Dates for the strike have yet to be decided, and union officials said they hoped to persuade E-Act, the charity which runs the school, to drop the controversial plans.

An E-act spokeswoman said: “All our academies must have the best and most effective staffing structures, and they must be able to balance the books. That’s simply good management.

“The focus of the reorganisation is about getting the right people in place to continue to deliver a better education for the girls at the academy. We have made a commitment to prevent any compulsory redundancies if at all possible.”

Consultation over the detailed plans takes place with staff and trade unions in February. Decisions on posts will take place at the end of March.