JOBS are set to be axed at The Chase School due to restructuring in the face of a ‘substantial’ funding reductions.
Headteacher Richard Jacobs has assured parents the changes would not have a negative impact on pupils but confirmed the school was currently consulting with professionals on making significant changes to staffing and a remodelling to how education was delivered.
He said the Government’s funding formula allocated money to pupils who were underachieving and, as a result, the Geraldine Road school was actually losing out due to the high performing primary schools in the area.
Another challenge is the changing population in Malvern and less pupils coming through means a surplus of spaces at The Chase which currently has about 1,550 students – more than a 100 less than two years ago.
Mr Jacobs confirmed the school did not operate a catchment area anyway but said it would now actively seek to welcome pupils from further afield.
The school’s ‘new vision’ is centered around the English Baccalaureate, with a focus on science, computer science, technology and maths.
Mr Jacobs maintained pupils would continue to have access to extra curricular activities particularly music and sport, and reiterated the Chase’s primary aim to prepare all students for university or a professional level apprenticeship.
He told the Observer: “We had a new vision for the school anyway and we are taking the challenges on board.
“They are not determining what we do. We have just taken the opportunity to restructure and go in a different direction.
“But in the first instance there will be a reduction in staffing.”
The Chase was rated Good by Ofsted inspectors in 2011, and typically produces GCSE pass rates above the national average.
Despite the current obstacles, Mr Jacobs said up to 20 per cent more pupils should be achieving five A to C grades.
In a letter to parents he added: “Rather than allow these challenges to overwhelm us and damage the quality of education, we have decided to meet them head on.
“We have shaped a new vision for the school retaining the best of the past and taking the opportunities of the present to prepare our students.
“The transition from the existing model of staffing to the new proposed one will be a smooth and well managed process.
“It will not detrimentally affect children’s education in any way.
“The only time our students will notice any change at all will be when they feel the benefits of the new structure.”