Headteacher denies staff will be made redundant at Portsmouth school

Steve Labedz insists no redundancies will be made at Trafalgar School
Steve Labedz insists no redundancies will be made at Trafalgar School
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  • School denies teachers will lose their jobs
  • Staff trip to Shanghai was paid for by central government
  • But headteacher admits it still faces debts of £100,000
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A HEADTEACHER has reassured staff and parents that there will not be any redundancies, despite his school finding itself in £100,000 of debt.

Trafalgar School in Hilsea has just started welcoming girls after converting to an academy from the City of Portsmouth Boys’ School.

No jobs are at stake. There are no major ramifications for staff whatsoever

Steve Labedz, executive headteacher

But one member of staff contacted The News, fearing for his job after staff were called into a meeting to inform them of financial difficulties.

The member of staff, who asked to remain anonymous, said: ‘All the staff are terrified for their jobs. The teachers are the innocent victims.’

But Steve Labedz, executive headteacher at the school, said the debt has already been halved from £200,000.

He said it had accrued because the school is only receiving funding for 440 pupils from the Education Funding Agency despite the current capacity being 490, due to ‘lag funding’ – where the money a school gets is based on the pupil numbers for the previous academic year. It also relates to budget cuts over recent years.

Mr Labedz said: ‘Like every school in the city, budgets are tightening.

‘But my style of leadership is not to hide it and to tell people. No jobs are at stake. There are no major ramifications for staff whatsoever.

‘We’re reviewing all the staff that we have got. Some people might be moved to different jobs but we don’t think there is any need for redundancy.’

Mr Labedz denied that a staff trip to Shanghai as part of a maths hub was paid for out of the school budget. He said all expenses for the trip came from central government.

He added that the school’s budget will see the slate wiped clean by April.

Amanda Martin is the secretary of the Portsmouth NUT. She said she hopes to hold a meeting with staff and the school. She said: ‘The NUT believes that the best resource in a school to ensure good quality education are its teachers and staff.

‘The NUT also believes that during a time of change it is important that all staff are kept fully informed and any process or change that may be needed are communicated openly and are completely transparent and in full negotiation with staff and trade unions.’

‘The NUT is happy to work with the staff, the school and the academy trust to ensure a positive outcome is achieved.’