THERE will be job losses in two special schools across Barnsley, a union has confirmed.
Both Greenacre School and Springwell Learning Community will lose teachers and support staff, but at the moment the amount of people losing their jobs is unknown.
Wellspring Academy Trust announced there is a ‘ongoing consultation process’ and said ‘consolidating some aspects of provision’ which has meant ‘staffing structures are necessary’.
Mark Wilson, CEO at Wellspring Academy Trust: “Both Greenacre School and Springwell Learning Community have always done their utmost to provide an outstanding and personalised education for every child in their care. Continuing to achieve that in the face of the ongoing funding challenges that we are all aware of remains our number one priority.
“To ensure the long-term good health of both schools, we are consolidating some aspects of provision. This means we can continue to guarantee the high-quality education that our pupils and their parents expect and rely on.
“It does mean that some changes to our staffing structures are necessary. Staff members were informed this week. We value our talented workforce and are doing everything possible in partnership with their unions to provide appropriate support through this period of change.”
A spokeswoman for the National Education Union (NEU) confirmed there are going to be job losses at both sites for teaching and support staff.
Margaret Baggley, local NEU officer for the Barnsley District, said: “At the moment, the matter is in consultation up until March 28 and there will be more information about it after this date.
“We are challenging some of their (Wellspring Academy Trust) ideas and they are consulting with us.”
Greenacre School is a special education school for children and teenagers with complex and severe learning difficulties, behavioural conditions or speech and language difficulties. The school has students from the age of three up to 19-years-old and also has satellite sites at Kexborough Primary School, Oakhill Academy Primary School and Outwood Academy Carlton. It was
and rated ‘outstanding’ at its last Ofsted inspection in 2018 and won School of the Year in the 2019 Proud of Barnsley awards.
The school, on Keresforth Hill Road, received £10,000 of funding last year to help staff deliver workshops for young people and families and received £20,000 of funding in February this year to fund a new staff member to work with pupils who show a risk of violence.
Springwell Learning Community, is a partnership providing special and alternative education for some of Barnsley’s most vulnerable children with emotional, social and mental health difficulties who struggled to have their needs met in mainstream settings.
Comprised of Springwell Special Academy and Springwell Alternative Academy and catering for four to 16-year-olds, Springwell is a mixed academy school partnership with more than 160 pupils on roll.
In 2018, Springwell Special Academy was rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. The school, in Athersley South, received a ‘Trauma and Mental Health Informed School Award’ at the beginning of the year and staff at the school were praised for work to support mental health and well-being, which included providing access to green spaces, quiet rooms and decorated classrooms for sensory experiences.