A school which left parents feeling ‘let down’ over its service to pupils has been accused of blaming the troubles on teachers rather than its own financial mismanagement.
The UK’s largest teachers’ union, NASUWT, believes the meeting held by Skegness Grammar School on Thursday, March 18, was a ‘device to apportion blame to teachers rather than the years of financial mismanagement at the school’.
Parents left the meeting ‘furious’ with some opting to send their children elsewhere after allegedly hearing admissions that ‘teaching standards were at all time low’.
However, NASUWT’s national executive member for Lincolnshire, David Morgan, believes a financial deficit or more than £700,000 is the real cause of the school’s problems and its staff redundancies.
In a letter to the Standard he wrote: “We are dismayed at what we believe is a misrepresentation of the facts and the resulting crisis caused by financial mismanagement.”
Mr Morgan has suggested the school’s decision to buy a fleet of minibuses with personalised registration plates and to spend money on lowering ceilings represented a ‘crisis of leadership’ at the school, claiming the Board of Governors had ‘failed to exercise their power of oversight effectively’.
A letter sent by the school after the meeting, which told parents the redundancies were ‘to enhance standards and allow best practise [sic] to flourish’ has also come under fire.
“Grammatical errors aside, this does not provide parents with a clear and accurate statement of the situation but rather passes the blame for the problems at the school to teachers, some of whom have taught effectively at the school for many years - years during which the school was one of the best in the country and could be again’ Mr Morgan wrote.
Steve Crump, who attended the meeting, having sent several of his children to the school, has echoed the union’s concerns over management failures, fearing that the two new principals were ‘basically in charge of a fire sale’.
He has called on the governors to ‘resign immediately’ claiming the financial problems have led to paper rationing and parents being asked to purchase text books for their children.
“This must be so frustrating for teachers and demoralising for pupils,” he said.
“Yes, some of the teaching has been poor and teachers have become far too comfortable and some that have left simply weren’t up to the job.
“However the staff can’t expect to operate with the constant threat of job losses hanging over their heads.
“The parents, senior management, teachers and most of all pupils deserve answers from the governing body.”
Mr Morgan has also called for answers and transparency.
“We call on the management of Skegness Grammar School to be open and transparent about the real reasons for the school’s current problems in order to begin to address them,” he concluded.