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Casterton-Sedbergh schools merger: 'Up to 50 jobs' at risk
UP to 50 people are set to lose their jobs as a result of Casterton and Sedbergh schools merging, it was revealed this week.
Consultation with 470 employees at both sites is continuing with some teachers and support staff told their jobs are safe.
But others - whose roles are repeated across the two schools - have been informed their positions are being pooled and are at risk of redundancy.
The Gazette spoke exclusively to husband and wife Sedbergh staff James and Lori Cooper-Colliander, who relocated from Cambridge in 2010, and face different outcomes.
Her job as director of academic achievement is safe, but maths teacher Mr Cooper-Colliander could be made redundant.
He said: “It’s a difficult time – I find myself in this pool because of being a maths teacher. I’m in the pool with other maths teachers.
“The system doesn't, initially, take into account everything that I do beyond teaching, like so many other teachers do, such as pastoralcare or my deputy housemaster role.
“I also take pupils caving, run a book club and I run a weekly maths society.
“Boarding school life is about doing lots of different things and it’s an absolute privilege to be able to influence these children, not just in the classroom but outside it.
“I made a choice to come to boarding school, very much like children do. I was living an academic life in Cambridge and I wanted more things going on.
“It is so nice being able to walk to work together and we would miss that if it ended for any reason."
Mrs Cooper-Colliander, who works with Sedbergh’s most academically-talented pupils, said: “I think among the staff there’s a feeling of relief that the process is now underway after having spent a couple of weeks of discussion about the process of amalgamation.
“I don’t envy the people who have to make the staffing decisions. The process has been made very clear but, even still, it can't be easy for anyone involved.
“We hope we land on our feet, and together. We want to give our skills, our expertise, our enthusiasm and our energy to a school like Sedbergh. We'd love to carry on but we'll just have to see what happens."
Sedbergh School headmaster Andrew Fleck said staff had been offered voluntary redundancy and job share and part-time working were being considered.
He confirmed between 40 and 50 posts would be lost by April.
“We will be running a fair and open process which meets the needs of the school from September,” said Mr Fleck.
“Staff in both schools are anxious and worried and we are working to resolve any uncertainty.”
From September, all-girl senior pupils at Casterton will be at Sedbergh and Sedbergh Junior School will have relocated to a new prep school at Casterton.