Federation taking action to avoid potential £1 million deficit as parents are urged to support academies

October 04 2016

UNION leaders have called on parents to maintain support for Yate and Winterbourne international academies amid concerns over a potential cash crisis at the federation that runs the schools.

UNION leaders have called on parents to maintain support for Yate and Winterbourne international academies amid concerns over a potential cash crisis at the federation that runs the schools.
A projected £1 million shortfall for the Ridings’ Federation of Academies has been described by the National Union of Teachers as “a serious situation”.
It has led to fears of staff cuts and increased class sizes within the federation, which also runs Woodlands primary phase and nursery in Yate, as well as the sixth form in Winterbourne.
But Claire Emery, chairwoman of the board of trustees, said the federation was investigating cost saving measures to reduce the financial deficit while still being committed to supporting students and staff.
Federation spokesman Rob Phillips said £1 million was not its current deficit but an initial projected figure for the end of August 2017.
Mrs Emery had revealed the problem in a letter to staff and invited ideas for possible savings.
But it comes as the federation continues to put troubled times behind it. In 2015, both Yate and Winterbourne academies were assessed as requiring improvement; teachers at Winterbourne went on strike, claiming a breakdown in relations with academy leadership, and the then chief executive principal, Beverley Martin, left after only about seven months.
However, progress is being made under her replacement, Adam Williams, and the federation said there had been “some very impressive results” at Woodlands, Yate and Winterbourne.
Mr Williams is currently on sick leave and Mr Phillips said trustees were working with senior leaders to keep things running effectively in his absence.
Mrs Emery said: “The federation is dealing with a financial deficit and the trustees are looking at various ways to reduce this.
“The subsequent feedback from staff members will be considered and responded to in the correct forum but I want to reassure all staff, pupils and parents of pupils attending The Ridings’ academies that the federation is committed to supporting its staff and ensuring that all of its pupils receive excellent learning.
“Trustees are also working closely with the regional schools commissioner for the South West and Education Funding Agency colleagues to ensure there is no disruption to learning for students.”