THE CHASE High School has named Mike Fieldhouse as the new acting head after current headteacher Richard Jacobs was placed on ‘special leave’.
The news, announced today (Tuesday) by The Geraldine Road-based school, came after an announcement by Mr Jacobs about staff redundancies at the school.
This latest round follows two previous rounds of job losses – one in 2015/16 and another in 2013/14. A total of 25 posts were axed during those changes.
In a letter to parents, the school’s chair of governors Matt May said: “Mr Fieldhouse is highly respected by the staff, students and wider community and the Governors have absolute confidence in the ability of his experienced Leadership Team to cover this difficult time.”
He added The Chase, in common with schools across the country, continued to face a significant financial challenge.
“The Leadership Team, in consultation with staff, Governors, unions and other stakeholders, are actively considering a wide range of options to find solutions that will maintain the highest standards of education together with an uncompromising focus on the quality of care for every student.
“Communication will be regular and clear.”
He also said the school was a ‘critical’ part of the community and was ‘fortunate’ to benefit from a combination of diversely talented, engaged and enthusiastic students and committed, professional and caring staff.
The letter does not give the reasons behind why Mr Jacobs is on leave.
Mr May added: “We are very grateful for the support that has been widely voiced and feel confident that we can draw on that interest and energy as we move forward to ensure a secure and bright future for this brilliant school.”
Mr Jacobs informed parents last week about the current crop of redundancies which, he said, was due to a fall in pupil numbers at the school.
A letter to was sent out by Mr Jacobs which reassured parents there would be no cuts to the curriculum despite the job losses.
He said in the letter: “Redundancies will reflect the change in roll and will not require any cuts to our curriculum.
“This programme will be controlled, measured and balanced and we will ensure that your child continues to receive the best possible education.
“The Chase has secured its best examination results ever over the last few years and secured a superb Ofsted report this summer, despite the difficult financial situation.
“Praise is due to our resilient and highly professional staff.”
Mr Jacobs also said in his letter that funding from government had not matched the ‘extra burdens’ of expenditure which had been imposed on The Chase which he believed coincided with the drop in pupils attending the school.