Union seeks redundancy payout for Newlands staff

Newlands school, Seaford. Possible closure SUS-140424-085638001
Newlands school, Seaford. Possible closure SUS-140424-085638001

Redundancy payouts are being sought for staff members who have lost their jobs due to the sudden closure of Newlands School in Seaford.

Students at the independent school had their last day on Wednesday July 9, with a spokesperson saying it was ‘with great sadness’ that they were announcing the school would close at the end of the summer term. They added the school’s proprietors, Beaconhouse Educational Services, had announced it would be withdrawing its financial support at the end of the academic year and have been unable to satisfactorily transfer the lease.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) said it was now seeking payouts for members who lost their jobs after the site was closed down on July 10. ATL said this brought forward the closure of the school by three weeks, as staff had been told it was due to close on August 31, adding that their employers, Newlands Schools Limited, has ceased trading and is insolvent. The union said it will seek assurances from the company’s Insolvency Practitioners to ensure that members who have lost the jobs, through no fault of their own, will receive the remuneration to which they are entitled.

Eddie Fleming, ATL’s regional official for East Sussex, said, “It is sad to see Newlands school close once again and at such short notice.

“Staff have acted with dignity and professionalism to make sure the children at the school were able to continue with their education up until the very last day, whilst under the threat of closure. It’s a pity that their employers were not able to match such dedication.

“ATL will now do all it can to make sure its members receive their due entitlements and will give serious consideration to possible legal redress against their employers.”