QUESTIONS about the future management of Budmouth School at Weymouth are expected at Thursday’s Dorset Council meeting in Dorchester.

The school is expected to be taken over by the Aspirations Academies Trust in the autumn and has issued risk of redundancy notices to some staff.

Parents have protested about the proposed changes and some councillors are now also sharing their concerns.

It is feared that some of a debt write off being considered could see the cost fall on local council taxpayers with concerns that council involvement in the school will also reduce.

Overall staff savings of up to £700,000 are said be be under consideration at the school – partially by not replacing staff who leave and by preparing for the loss of the equivalent of 10 full-time posts, which may include learning support staff and workers in the sports centre.

Weymouth Green councillor Clare Sutton says she has met with a group of parents who said they were ‘extremely concerned’ at what they see as the forced changes to become an academy college and the effect it might have on students.

She will ask this Thursday’s (16th) Dorset Council meeting for an explanation about what impact the change will have on Dorset Council’s ability to help Budmouth drive up both educational and welfare standards and what impact there might be on students with additional education needs who require extra support.

The final part of her question reads: “Evidence suggests that academies do not out-perform Local Authority controlled schools, but they clearly have less democratic control. Why would Local Authorities wish to advance this agenda if there is no demonstrable evidence that it improves standards?”

Another councillor, Lib Dem Nick Ireland, said this week he hoped to table a question to the meeting regarding the cost to the public purse, including Dorset Council, from the academisation of Budmouth College.

He says he fears that if there are redundancies at least some of the cost could be directly, or indirectly, funded by the council and that if debt at the college is written off, who would pick up the bill.

The College has stressed that there are no proposed job losses among teaching staff and that there has already been some savings to senior leadership costs.