Redundancy fears

19th March 2004 at 00:00
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.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today