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More Changes At Troubled Huddersfield School

Almondbury Community School, which is being threatened with closure by Kirklees Council.

Troubled Almondbury Community School (ACS), which is threatened with the closure of its secondary provision, is advertising for teachers.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that 11 staff are to leave the secondary school over the summer.

That number includes three maths teachers, representing the entire department.

The school is currently advertising teaching vacancies in business/IT/computing, maths, science and geography.

All are fixed term (one-year) positions, reflecting proposed changes at ACS. If closure plans go forward only Year 11 pupils will be on site in 2019/20.

The recruitment drive comes as headteacher Trevor Bowen leaves ACS after 19 years. Mr Bowen, who has been on sick leave since February, is to be replaced by Ruth Ward.

She will join ACS on September 1 from North Huddersfield Trust School as new permanent headteacher.

Also leaving are Interim Headteacher Rob Reed, who joined ACS in March from a school on the south coast, and David Housecroft, Assistant Head of Phase – Aspiration, who is retiring.

The headteachers’ moves were announced in a letter to parents by Executive Headteacher, Simon Flowers, and John Bywater, chair of the Interim Executive Board.

The letter also advises parents that ACS is “fully staffed” bar two teacher interviews in July.

Kirklees Council wants to strip ACS of its secondary provision and accommodate an estimated 300 pupils in neighbouring schools, principally King James’s in Almondbury, the Netherhall Learning Campus in Rawthorpe, Shelley College and at Newsome High.

The council will discuss its future options for ACS at its Cabinet meeting on July 16.

Jo-Anne Sanders, the council’s Service Director – Learning and Early Support, has said repeatedly that no final decision had been made on the future of the school.

Numbers are understood to be falling across other year groups as uncertainty grows over the school’s future.

Currently only 45 youngsters are set to move into Year 7, down from 92 last year.

Parents also say that whilst 110 children applied for ACS only 60 have been accepted.

The Junior school is understood to be merging Years 3 and 4, with Year 5 reduced to two classes.

The number of schools using the swimming pool has dropped from six to three.

A school spokesperson said: “There are absolutely no issues with staff turnover or staff numbers at Almondbury Community School.

“For a large school, the turnover of teaching and support staff we will experience at the end of this term is completely normal.

“Almost all schools see people leave or retire at the end of the school year.

“We have already recruited a number of excellent new staff and our team will be very close to 100% capacity in September.

“There will be no disruption to learning in any phase of the school.”

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