STAFF at a financially troubled secondary school held a lunchtime rally today (May 20) in protest against a proposed redundancy.

More than 50 people at Forest Hill School, in Dacres Road marched to Mayow Park with placards over the threat of axing an English teacher.

Representative for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers Kim Knappett, who works at the school, said: “It’s important we all stand together and defend the fact nobody should lose their job.

“I hope this will send a message to the governors that staff are not happy.”

In December last year a report issued at a Mayor and Cabinet meeting revealed the school made a loss of £557,000 in 2010/11 due to be reduced to £279,000 in 2011/12.

Cost reductions included axing a senior leadership member, a teaching role, learning mentor and two learning support assistants.

Lunchtime supervisors were also reduced by four.

But the NUT claims part of the problem is the £23.5m private finance initiative deal, which allowed the school to be rebuilt in 2008.

Secretary of Lewisham NUT, Martin Powell-Davies, said: “Staff are demonstrating their anger at a job cut which will damage education.

“Our students need more support, not less.”

He added: “Jobs at Forest Hill have now been threatened for two years in a row. Staff want to know how many more job cuts are to come as Lewisham Council demands the school cuts its deficit.

“Pupils should not be losing support, nor teachers be losing their jobs, to pay for the costs of PFI.”

On May 25 56 members of the NUT at Forest Hill School will be sent a ballot paper from the National Union to find out if they support strike action to oppose compulsory redundancies.

They could be joined in co-ordinated action by NUT members at Deptford Green School who are also being balloted over the same threat of a teacher redundancy.

A Lewisham Council spokeswoman said: “The school is currently consulting on reorganisation proposals and it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment until that process is concluded.”