School jobs cut as people leave Island

  • (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Five assistant teaching positions have been lost at Saltus Grammar School.

    (Photo by Akil Simmons) Five assistant teaching positions have been lost at Saltus Grammar School.

A drop in numbers at Saltus due to people leaving the Island has caused the school to shed five teaching assistants jobs.

All are held by Bermudians, whose positions will be cut on August 31.

The announcement came as the school reported an anticipated drop in enrolment from 955 to 925 for the coming school year.

The para educators, or non-qualified teachers, are being cut from the school's Centre for Learning staff, Saltus principal Ted Staunton told The Royal Gazette.

Added Mr Staunton: “They will be able to apply for two different positions at the school, so the number affected could drop to three.”

He said the overall drop in student numbers was “not anything we didn't anticipate”.

Referring to the school's strategic plan, announced in 2010, to cut student numbers down to 900 in response to the economic downturn, Mr Staunton said: “This is a trajectory we had planned for. Hopefully it will not last until 2016, but we are certainly in decent shape.”

He said the school was “ahead of the wave”, and attributed the decline in student numbers to departures from Bermuda.

“It's definitely not due to transfer of students to other schools. We are seeing very, very little in terms of transfers to Warwick Academy, BHS or Somersfield. If anything, we are really encouraged by the transfer of children from other institutions, as a result of changes we've made here.

“There has been a definite decline due to loss of families relocating. A classic example would be a board member with three boys here being relocated to Australia, or one or both parents being declared redundant here and a family having to go back to Toronto.”

A Department of Statistics report has singled out non-Bermudians as the hardest-hit demographic in the Island's continuing job losses.

Of the 698 jobs reportedly lost between 2010 and 2011, non-Bermudians accounted for 691. A total of 37,399 jobs were counted last year.

The Bermuda Employers' Council said yesterday that 71 percent of its members surveyed believe that the recession will continue into 2013/14.

The BEC said that demand for employees remained weak across the hard hit construction, retail and hotel/restaurant industries.

"Almost 60 percent of the members see the economy becoming somewhat or much worse with the remainder believing it will be about the same as a year ago," said a BEC statement.

"Consequently, conditions for making major capital investments, which helps to drive employment, are somewhat worse or much worse than a year ago.

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Published Apr 19, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Apr 19, 2012 at 8:37 am)

School jobs cut as people leave Island

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