ATL claims school acted illegally by closing without consultation

Norman Court Preparatory School, a co-educational independent day and boarding school has been open to pupils for 131 years and will be closing its doors for good at the end of this summer term.

The school has been struggling financially for quite some time and the owner of the estate has been looking into alternative funding to save the school from closure.

A statement released by the school explains that the school does not own the freehold of the property: “The landlord, Mr Parker, has over the years been a generous benefactor of the school but he and his family were no longer able to help. Mr Parker was in discussion with prospective purchasers for the estate, amongst people with serious educational interests who had substantial funds to invest in the future development of the school. Since September, the governors and Mr Parker had been exploring a number of different possibilities to provide a long term future, but sadly no deal could be secured.”

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) will seek payout for eighteen staff members who will lose their jobs when the school is forced to close its doors on 7 July 2012. They claim the school has not acted in accordance with the law by failing to consult staff about the closure.

Jo Smith, the ATL regional official for Hampshire, said: “It will be incredibly sad to see Norman Court close at such short notice. Staff and pupils will be hit hard and staff are likely to find it hard to get jobs by September.

“We are disappointed that the school has not consulted the staff about the closure, as it is legally required to do, thereby reducing any opportunity to investigate alternatives to closure.

“ATL will now do all it can to make sure its members get any pay and redundancy payments to which they are entitled, including taking the school to an employment tribunal if necessary. ATL will also provide support to any staff that need to find other jobs.”

 

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