Wednesday, 28 September 2011

£115k redundancy payout over music cuts

MORE than £100,000 is to be paid out in redundancy to music teachers as part of cuts to council services.

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Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council has agreed to pay £116,707 to 16 teachers.

The council cut all its funding to the service – which provides lessons in schools – from April 1, with schools, parents and the Government left to pay its costs.

The change saw the 56-person service split into nine full time staff on standard pay and conditions and a wider team of “instrumental music specialists”, on new pay and conditions.

The council said there has been “no change to the level of activity the music service offered”. Changes took place this month.

Some 10 teachers will get voluntary redundancy of £67,367 and six more will get six months pay protection worth £30,087.

Two members of staff will get protection for three years, costing the council £19,253.

Council leader Ken Meeson approved the payout this month from the council’s £2.63m redundancy and retirement fund.

Council support has been cut from £300,000 in 2008 to £210,000 in 2009 and £144,000 last year.

This saw higher fees, less staffing meetings and fewer residential courses, yet the council said the “quality of provision did not diminish”.

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