Surrey teachers jobless as Oakfield independent school shuts

Staff at a private school in Surrey which closed suddenly this month lost their jobs with no warning, a teaching union has said.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is representing five staff members at Oakfield School, in Pyrford, Woking.

An ATL spokeswoman said staff heard about the closure and job losses on 3 August but had no warning before that.

The BBC has been unable to contact anyone at the school.

Oakfield's website is unavailable and its telephone and email are out of operation.

More closures

The ATL spokeswoman said: "Staff only found out the school was closing when they got a letter on 3 August.

"At that stage, they were told weren't going to get any pay in August and the pay in July was last they were going to get.

"We've been talking to the school and we're going to make sure that the members get any redundancy they are entitled to.

"If the school is not reasonable, we will take the case to an industrial tribunal."

An ATL official will meet union members on Friday to discuss the next steps, which include asking lawyers to contact the school and claim back pay and redundancy pay.

The spokeswoman said the ATL had so far heard of five private schools in England, including Oakfield, which have closed in July and August this year, with a sixth closure also likely.

Surrey County Council, the Department for Education, and the Independent Schools Council have all said they are not involved in Oakfield.

This month, Ripley Court preparatory school, in Rose Lane, Ripley, held emergency entrance tests for Oakfield children who needed a school place in September.

Surrey County Council said any parent who would like to apply for a place for their child should speak to its contact centre as soon as possible, or download an application form from the council's school admissions website.

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