Staff to be cut at Chichester school

A Chichester school has confirmed there are plans to reduce staffing because of the general decline in the number of pupils enrolling with secondary schools.

The Observer contacted Chichester High School for Boys after information about potential redundancies came to light.

The secondary school and sixth form, in Kingsham Road, responded with a statement from headteacher Gavin Salvesen-Sawh.

“In relation to your questions, it is a known and well-documented fact that there are falling rolls in this part of West Sussex,” he said.

“This year will see one of the lowest number of primary children transferring from primary to secondary in Area A of West Sussex. This is set to rise in the future as there is a ‘baby boom’ filtering through the primary system.

“On that basis, the majority of schools are not over-subscribed, due to fewer children in transition. Like all schools, budgets have to be efficient.

“Therefore, there are some proposals to reduce staffing. The ‘key’ word in your email is ‘potential’, so this may not occur. Of the three teaching departments identified as overstaffed, two of the three posts have been resolved already.

“It is always the intention to avoid a redundancy and this can often occur through natural wastage, when a member of staff retires.”

The Observer also asked about investing money in installing CCTV cameras. It said funding for security originated from other funding streams and was not connected to staffing in a school.

Mr Salvesen-Sawh added: “In relation to your questions about CCTV and fencing, as already published in the Observer last term, the school, like all others across the country, is committed to improving security and safeguarding, which is paramount to all in our school community.”

Last month the South Downs Planetarium believed its future could be threatened by the school’s plans to install an eight-feet-high fence and gates along its access route.

The school wanted the fence, plus a pair of gates, to safeguard pupils and prevent intruders. Planetarium trustees said the fencing would seriously impact on access to the site and raised concerns about the type of gates that would be used.

The planetarium, which opened in 2001, lies to the south of the school and can only be reached by a track which starts near the school sports centre. The fence was planned to run alongside the track and there would be a gate across the road in front of the planetarium.

However Mr Salvesen-Sawh said: “The school recently had a most productive meeting with the planetarium. This has now been ‘put on hold’ until full and comprehensive details of our new £3.2m building programme are known.”