A SECONDARY school in Basildon is facing a mass exodus of staff with 20 teachers leaving this summer.

Worried parents said the matter has allegedly been shared with pupils at Woodlands School, in Nethermayne, as well as parents, who have expressed concern at the huge turnover in staff.

Now in a letter sent to parents the headteacher David Wright said it was 20 staff and most have been replaced.

It comes as leading councillors have raised fears about teacher shortages in Essex and claim Covid hardships have caused more people to leave the education sector.

One worried parent, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “My child is going into year 11 at Woodlands School in Basildon, and they have come home to tell me at least 30 teachers are leaving the school.

“The once good school sounds like it’s imploding. I’m worried about my child’s education.

“I have spoken to my friend who is a classroom assistant and she said 30 is about right.”

Tony Ball, Essex County councillor for education excellence, lifelong learning and employability, said teachers have had it very tough in the pandemic.

Mr Ball, a former leader of Basildon Council, said: “People forget schools were open through the pandemic and teachers had to learn new skills with online learning.

“Teachers' mental health and wellbeing is a top priority for us and is top of our agenda and work.

“We also have a teacher shortage across Essex which was made worse by the pandemic.

“I think there will be some leaving after what they have dealt with and been through.”

Kerry Smith, Independent councillor for Nethermayne, has called for more control from councils over academies.

Woodlands School is an academy run by Takely Education Trust.

Mr Smith said: “This is a major down side to academy systems as the break away from councils and authority control.

“Something like this could be quite bad for a school and it was a fantastic school. It’s been tough for the teachers and nobody was clapping for them in the lockdowns.

“It’s been unrecoverable for the teachers who are working to get the kids back up to scratch.”

Woodlands School declined to comment when approached by the Echo. It refused to confirm the number of staff leaving this summer. 

The Takely Education Trust has also been contacted for comment. 

Job adverts show the school is aiming to fill teacher vacancies in its foreign languages, English and business departments.