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GMB slams Lambeth plan for mass restructure and potential school job losses

08 Mar 2021
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School staff have risked their lives every day of the pandemic and their reward is the threat of redundancy, says GMB Union 

GMB, the union for schools in Lambeth, has slammed a plan by headteachers across the borough for radical restructures which could lead to job losses in at least 20 schools. 

The plans will only affect the lower ends of the pay scales - so headteachers themselves will be unaffected - focussing on teaching assistants, learning support workers and midday meal supervisors. 

At least 20 schools will be affected, those announced so far, including: Loughborough Primary, Henry Cavendish Primary (on their Streatham and Balham sites), Stockwell Primary, Jessop Primary, Kings Avenue School and St John’s Angell Town Church of England Primary.  

The affected members are those who have been in school every day of this pandemic, not those who can work from home. Those who are risking their health and safety and that of their families to ensure these children get a decent education. Their reward for this hard work under extreme pressure and in fear for their health, is to tell them they are facing redundancy. 

Sheila Berry, GMB Regional Organiser

GMB has approached the schools and asked them to pause consultations, but this request has been refused. 

Lower paid school support staff have kept the schools running through this pandemic - many of them having been left to deal with "bubbles" of children without the support of teachers in the classrooms, often not getting breaks and having to undertake tasks which would normally be considered teachers' responsibilities. 

GMB is appealing to Lambeth Council to intervene and put a stop to these plans. 

Sheila Berry, GMB Regional Organiser said: 

“Without the children even going back into schools, headteachers are ploughing ahead these radical restructures in primary schools across the Borough of Lambeth. 

“Why would headteachers want to lose experienced, well trained, and dedicated staff at the very time when children are returning to the classrooms and needing extra help to catch up on the teaching and learning they have lost? 

“The affected members are those who have been in school every day of this pandemic, not those who can work from home. Those who are risking their health and safety and that of their families to ensure these children get a decent education. Their reward for this hard work under extreme pressure and in fear for their health, is to tell them they are facing redundancy. 

“This is a poor reward for their efforts and GMB calls for all re-structures across the borough to be halted.”

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