Plan to tackle Levenmouth Academy crisis

Staff at Levenmouth Academy revealed their concerns last weekStaff at Levenmouth Academy revealed their concerns last week
Staff at Levenmouth Academy revealed their concerns last week
Fife Council say they have an action plan to tackle the crisis at Levenmouth Academy.

The troubled school made headlines last week after it was revealed that staff have grave concerns about pupil discipline, resulting in some teachers having trouble coping.

Union representatives from EIS and GMB met at the school on Thursday to air their concerns.

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And education chiefs have now said they are working on an action plan in response to the problems faced by staff.

David Farmer, publicity officer for teaching union EIS, said: “The meeting was very well-attended, and overall I’d say it was generally positive.

“We were told that they are formulating an action plan which will be put to staff when it is ready.

“What staff are looking for is to be able to say that things are happening.

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“We’ve been given assurances that the action plan will address the concerns that some staff have.

“So it’s positive, although we’ll have to wait and learn more details about the action plan.

“We haven’t been given a specific time-frame for when it will be ready, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

And after there had been some concerns of strike raised in the run up to the meeting, Mr Farmer felt that this wasn’t likely right now.

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“At this moment in time, we’re a long way from that,” he said.”Everyone at the school is committed to solving these problems.”

Councillor John O’Brien said he felt more staff are needed.

He said: “Ronnie Ross does a great job – he works seven days a week and puts in a lot of extra hours.

“But the question is: is he getting enough support from Fife Education?

“I’ve been told that there are 28 members of staff off sick at Levenmouth Academy right now.

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“If you have a reduction in staff, then surely there’s a reduction in discipline.

“We definitely need more staff to support teachers and help fill the gaps.”

Head of education & children’s services for senior phase and employability, Derek Brown, said: “We had a productive meeting with the unions last week and from this we agreed that the council’s education management team would produce an action plan to address the issues that were raised.

“We’re working on this at the moment and will share it with staff in due course.”

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The meeting comes as there was also a fire reported at Levenmouth Academy on Thursday.

Fire and rescue services were called to the school shortly after noon.

Pupils were evacuated from the building as two engines from Methil attended the scene.

On arrival the crews discovered that the fire had already been extinguished and after safety and ventilation checks left the school at 1.15pm.

The £44m school came from the merger of Kirkland and Buckhaven Highs Schools, and only opened in August last year.