Over 900 sign petition to save jobs of four JFS staff


The jobs of four “likeable” JFS staff members are in jeopardy after the resignation of the school’s former headteacher Jonathan Miller was announced this week.

An online petition, which was launched by a JFS student on Thursday, has claimed that the school’s four community officers were asked to leave after Mr Miller quit.

The community officers, who provide informal pastoral care to the pupils, are known to students by their first names: Will, Jude, Caroline and Warren. Will, it is understood, has worked at the school for 18 years.

The Year 13 student, who launched a petition “to keep Will, Caroline, Jude and Warren at JFS”, claimed: “The team have been asked to leave the school after the resignation of Mr Miller as head teacher, please sign the petition to keep them in, keep JFS as JFS!”

However, a source close to the school has dismissed the claim that the community officers had been asked to leave.

The source confirmed that JFS leaders has decided to “review” how they deliver pastoral care to students. He could not confirm whether it would result in the loss of jobs for the community officers, two of whom are agency workers – or whether they would continue to work at the school in a new pastoral role.

He confirmed that JFS would inject an “additional £100,000” into the school’s budget to deliver support to students across year groups.

The petition, which has by signed by more than 900 people, has been widely circulated by JFS students and parents.

One parent told the JC that her daughter had relied on the officers for regular advice and support.

She said: “If students have a problem with other kids, or something like that, they are the people to go to.

“They helped out one of my kids on a few occasions, they were very helpful”.

One sixth-former said: “They are all likeable characters.

“They help students with the problems, concerns and issues. They also help with standing by the road and making sure it’s a safe place before people get on the buses after school.”

Year 13 student Emma Jacobs criticised the school, claiming it had not kept students and parents informed of the planned changes.

She said: “Changes to our school are going on behind closed doors and it doesn't feel very democratic!

“There's been no assembly to let us know about the changes that are or will be taking place. This means the rumour mill, in classic JFS style, is working quickly and ferociously to fill in the gaps.

“The Senior Leadership Team and governors should at least have the courtesy to explain to teachers, parents and students about what's going on.

“My cousin is in year seven at JFS. It's a shame her JFS experience will be so different to mine and those who have known 'classic JFS'”.

She added: “JFS is a great school but it's currently having all the best bits removed.”

The petition page, which has been signed by more than 900 people, added: “Between them they bring hard work, commitment, organisation and positive energy into making the school function smoothly. They are friendly figures to all students and have impacted the school hugely.”

She added: “They make it a brighter place.”

Meanwhile, this morning the school's 40-strong Student Council met executive headteacher Debby Lipkin and Simon Appleman, JFS's assistant headteacher, to discuss issues affecting the student body.

Students were told about plans to inject £275,000 of government money to revamp the school's outdoor recreation area. Building works will start this summer to improve seating space for students. Plans to install an "outdoor gym" are also in place.

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