Your job and career questions answered
I am in my second year at an independent school. The staff has been informed that we have falling numbers so there may be redundancies. How does this work? Do they look at it by subject? Can they make redundancies using "last in, first out" as the criterion, or do they go for part-timers first? Can they reduce your contract from full-time to part-time?
A: This sounds like a precautionary move. Obviously, the school will not yet know how many pupils it will recruit for September. As the process of declaring redundancies is lengthy, it makes sense to start it in good time.
It is easier to abandon the process if numbers pick up, than to start it too late in the year. As to who will be chosen, that is difficult to say.
Often, where everyone is doing the same job, the length of service method is seen as fair to all. However, if there are subject specialists the problem becomes complicated. If you are a member of a union, consult your local officials for their advice. If you have not yet joined a professional association, now might be the time to make the move; their advice and support can be invaluable in situations such as the one you describe.