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Statement of UK Committee on the Current Crisis at Dr Graham's Homes

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The UK Committee views with great concern the crisis that has hit The Homes as teachers seek a commitment to paying their salaries in line with the 6th Pay Commission effective from 1 January 2020 once the coronavirus pandemic has abated. The Board of Management has stated that it is unable to meet these demands as a result of a lack of available funds. It has been suggested that the latter situation has been brought about through management failures across the establishment over a period of some years.

The resulting stand-off between, on the one hand, the teaching staff who, through exasperation, suspended their voluntary provision of (Covid-driven) online classes at the start of the 2020 2nd Semester, and, on the other, the Board of Management struggling to manage the dire financial straits in which it finds itself, has created a high-risk situation threatening  closure of the Homes.

The UK Committee welcomes both the recent decision of the teachers to resume online classes, and the involvement of the parents in trying to achieve a solution to the crisis. It urges all parties to work together to find a way forward that will ensure the long-term future of the Homes. This could include a restructuring of the Board, giving representation on it to different stakeholders, and centring its operations in Kalimpong. The UK Committee stands ready to help in any way, routine or radical, whilst emphasising that its mission is solely that of continuing its support of the 160, or thereabouts, needy children to whom it is totally committed to providing both nurture and a full education.

UK Committee of Dr Graham’s Homes

3 September 2020

(Press contact: Professor Sir John Ball, jb101@hw.ac.uk ,+44 (0)7515271665)

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