Gloucester students lose cleaning jobs at High School for Girls
STUDENTS are in uproar after their school gave them the brush off from their cleaning jobs.
The 34 High School for Girls sixth formers have been laid off from their after-hours work at the school.
The pupils said they valued the work because it maximised time available to them to study at weekends.
But they have been told the school could get a better deal from a professional service from Gloucestershire County Council.
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So from April 1, all 34 of them will be out of a job.
“We had a meeting with the school on Thursday and they explained that because of money and the quality of cleaning, we wouldn’t be doing it anymore,” said the group’s spokesman.
“From April 1 we are out of a job. They are getting contractors in instead. We don’t want this to happen – most of us are Year 13 and we will have no work to help us pay for university.”
They said the students are paid £7.19 an hour, with 18 of them cleaning for a few hours a night during the 36 weeks of the school term.
“It’s been going for quite a while and I know other schools do it,” said the spokesman.
“Having this job means there is no travel time and gives us free time at weekends to study.
“We take pride in our work because it’s our school and the teachers tell us we do a good job in keeping the buildings looking clean and tidy.”
The school’s chairman of governors, Stephen MacMillan, explained the change is being made because the school must scrutinise every service it pays for.
“Shire Hall’s cleaning service offers a professional service that represents better value,” he said.
“Factors include quality, but also deep cleans. Currently we don’t get cleaning in the school holidays and overheads like equipment. We have not taken this decision lightly.”
Mr McMillan is a Conservative county councillor for Mid Dean and denied there was a conflict of interest.
“I’m not the only person who makes that decision,” he said.
“It’s made by a committee and I am not the chair of that.”