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Saltus Grammar School to axe eight staff posts and reduce student numbers

Saltus Grammar School has announced it will be reducing staff and student numbers over the next two years.

Saltus Grammar School has announced that eight staff positions will be made redundant due to the economic downturn.The private school also announced yesterday it would be reducing its student enrollment from 1,015 to 900 over the next two years and would focus on becoming a smaller and more student-centered institution.The changes are due to declining enrollment numbers at the school, which was affected by a number of parents from the international business sector returning overseas with their children.Headmaster Ted Staunton said the school would be contacting affected employees in the next few days, though some were already set to retire or complete work contracts.“A total of eight positions will be eliminated.“This will be accomplished by a combination of retirement, non-renewal of one year contracts, reductions in non-essential programmes and the elimination of staff consultants.“Positions that will be made redundant will continue until August 2011. We will be contacting all employees whose positions will be affected within the next few days and our Human Resources Department will provide outplacement support.”The Island's largest private school is also set to undergo changes to its strategic direction including reducing its student numbers.Mr Staunton said: “We see this as a prudent time to critically review all programmes offered by the school and become a smaller and more student-centered institution.“We will, of course, continue to focus on our mission, academic excellence, personal integrity and service to others,” he added.Saltus, which had more than 1,100 students at the start of the decade has experienced waning enrollment numbers as the local and international business community responds to the economic downturn.However, they continue to have a “healthy demand” from Bermudian parents at all levels of admission, according to a school spokesman.“Since 2008, most of our attrition has come from international families relocating overseas,” said Mr Staunton. “The unfortunate consequence of the reduction in students is the effect it has on our bottom line and the need for us to focus on cost savings across the school.“All budgets have been reduced, including our payroll budget; we are disappointed to be forced to reduce the size of our valued faculty and staff. All budget reductions have been made by focusing on what is in the best interest of our students.“They are our first priority, as is building a stronger school in the midst of what may be a multiple-year economic downturn. We believe that implementing these strategic changes will enable us to concentrate on our core mission.”