ATL on sudden administration of Walden School, Essex

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Press release
25 July 2017 by ATL Media Office
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) are disappointed at the immediate closure of The Saffron Walden school in Essex last week (18 July).

The school went into administration on 17 July, with the immediate closure on 18 July. Angry staff were given less than 24-hours’ notice at a meeting called by the school on 18 July. During a consultation period, which started in May, assurances had been given that the school would need to close, but that all redundancy and contractual notice pay obligations would be met in full. This sudden change has resulted in an immediate shortfall in pension contributions and reduced redundancy payments.

Staff will now become creditors, along with parents and suppliers, needing to wait at least a year before receiving the remainder of their contractual pay, and have only been paid up until 30 June.

After being a provider of education for the last 200 years, the school, originally founded by Quakers, has been experiencing financial constraints as a result of falling pupil numbers in challenging economic times.

Paul McLaughlin, Senior Regional Official, Eastern region said: “It’s a great shame that the school is closing. Staff had been aware of difficulties for some time and have been working tirelessly to ensure that the children’s education remained paramount. Members feel particularly let down as they had been told their contractual entitlements would be honored, leaving them now in the lurch. ATL are working closely with members to ensure they receive all due entitlements and the support they need at this difficult time, including legal action, if necessary.”