The multi academy trust which runs Okehampton College is looking at a restructure of its three secondary schools – as rumours fly on social media that staff salaries could be cut.

Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust (DMAT) has recently confirmed rumours that a new structure in the trust’s secondary schools (Okehampton College, Tavistock College and Holsworthy College) is currently under consideration.

This will see the introduction of a house tutor system and the creation of new leadership positions to “ensure greater focus on the development and delivery of the curriculum in order to best meet the needs of each student”.

A spokesperson for DMAT said: “As a trust, we recognise the need to raise standards and improve outcomes for every student in our secondary schools, and to particularly address the gaps in attainment for students from disadvantaged backgrounds or with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). As part of this, the trust is consulting with staff on new academic and pastoral structures which we believe will better reflect the current context of the schools and the students we now serve than the historic structures are able to.”

This news follows concerns raised on social media that the new structure could see staff salaries cut, but DMAT has said that since the proposal is still in the consultation phase it is not yet possible to confirm how this new structure will affect salaries.

The DMAT spokesperson added: ““The proposed new structure includes a number of new roles for which the relevant staff within our current structure will be able to match directly into those roles or put themselves forward for. As this new structure is under consultation, it is not possible at this stage to know who would be taking up which roles and how this might impact on anyone’s pay, if at all.

“However, staff salaries will continue at their set levels. In some instances, some staff may currently have what is called a Teaching and Leadership Responsibility (TLR) payment on top of their salary, to compensate for additional responsibility above their standard job description – these might be short- or long-term payments depending on the specific situation. Should any staff have an existing TLR and then be offered a role which either requires a lower TLR or no TLR, their existing TLR would still be protected for three years.”

“The views of our colleagues are incredibly important to us, which is why we are currently working closely with colleagues and trade unions through a full consultation process to ensure the outcome will result in the best possible education for students.”

DMAT has further confirmed that the proposals would not see a reduction in the number of staff and that, once the consultation process has taken place, DMAT will provide more details about the new structure.

Last year, DMAT introduced a staffing restructure, which mainly affected the trust’s primary schools. The number of teaching assistants, higher-level teaching assistants, and technicians was reduced, while the number of teachers and leadership staff was slightly increased.