Grammar cuts staff as pandemic bites


PENINSULA Grammar will stand down staff in the school’s administration, marketing and maintenance departments”.

The Mount Eliza private school, which admits to being “greatly impacted by the global pandemic”, said in a statement it had “made the difficult decision to commence a staff consultation process that will potentially impact” staff numbers.

The statement, attributable to a spokesman, released on Friday 15 May Sarah Coghlan, senior account executive of Civic Financial Communications, said there would be “no staff cuts to student-facing roles”.

The cuts to “non-student facing roles” were being made to “ensure the school’s strong financial position is maintained”. No cuts were planned for “student-facing roles”.

Civic Financial Communications describes itself as “an investor relations and financial communications agency that helps corporations and their leaders navigate a world of increased media scrutiny, government intervention and shareholder activism”.

Principal Stuart Johnston, in a separate letter to parents on the same day, said the school would “provide families with a 30 per cent concession in fees”.

“During this difficult time, we are striving to ensure that we remain focused on the most important facet of the school, which is the care and education of our students,” he said.

Mr Johnston reportedly also wrote to staff saying increasing numbers of students were departing mid-term and that, in a worst case scenario, 40 per cent of families would struggle to pay their school fees.

Enrolments for 2021 are expected to decline by more than 10 per cent should a full COVID-19 lock-down continue, it is believed.

Of the 63 staff temporarily stood down more than 50 are expected to return when school resumes.

First published in the Mornington News – 19 May 2020


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