Lancashire

Over 100 school jobs at risk in Blackburn

More than 100 teaching and support staff are expected to be made redundant in Lancashire.

Blackburn with Darwen Council said a consultation period was under way into redundancies at three schools, two of which will close later this year.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) said promises that all staff members would be redeployed "had been broken".

Those staff at risk work at Beardwood Humanities College, Fernhurst School and Crosshill School in Blackburn.

The Beardwood and Fernhurst schools will close this summer, while Crosshill School will be scaled down as it co-locates with Blackburn Central High School.

'Pack of lies'

At the time these changes were announced in 2008, the NUT said every teacher was guaranteed a job under an enhanced redeployment policy.

Since then, 83 members of staff have been redeployed, taken voluntary redundancy, taken early retirement or found work elsewhere.

However, a further 119 staff from the schools now face redundancy.

Simon Jones, NUT national executive and Blackburn with Darwen secretary, said: "They were told there would always be a job there for anyone who wanted one.

"At the time it seemed ambitious, but the promise was made and teachers trusted it would be upheld. Now they feel like they have been told a pack of lies.

'Some redundancies'

"Had they known it would end up like this, they would have fought harder to save the schools. We could have organised a proper campaign."

Mr Jones said the promise of redeployment might have been affected by public service cuts since 2010.

Harry Devonport, the council's director of education, said he had hoped redundancies could be avoided using a redeployment list.

"Finding new jobs for the people on this list remains a priority but unfortunately there will be some redundancies," he said.

He added that it was ultimately up to individual schools whether they took on staff seeking redeployment, not the council.

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