Eleven teachers at Brighton's St Mary’s Hall School have been made redundant ahead of its expected takeover by Roedean.

The details emerged today after the closure of independent schools was discussed at the annual conference of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers’ (ATL).

John Richardson, ATL's national official for independent schools said after the conference the union was concerned that some schools were only offering statutory redundancy packages.

He said: "Independent school employers, certainly the well-known ones, ought to be setting a good example and paying more than the statutory minimum.

"Roedean should pay higher than the absolute legal minimum. After all, it's a people business. It's the staff and teachers that make the school. They're committed, loyal and hard-working.

"A redundancy policy is the minimum you would expect because it gives clarity in difficult situations where staff are in shock at losing their jobs and want to know what will happen."

Mr Richardson said that of ATL's members at St Mary's Hall, six had taken voluntary redundancy and five had been given compulsory redundancy.

The conference heard that around 25 independent schools have been forced to close or merge, or are about to close this year.

Malcolm St John-Smith told the conference in Liverpool today that the number of redundancies was growing at a "rapid rate".

He said: "Far too many schools, including some well-known names, do not have even basic employment policies such as a redundancy procedure, which leaves little recourse to our members, other than the lengthy and costly legal route."

ATL passed a motion today calling for a campaign to ensure all fee-paying schools planned for the future, to mitigate any risks from the credit crunch, and to put proper redundancy policies in place to help and protect staff.

Have you been affected by the redundancies at St Mary's Hall? Leave a comment below or email news@theargus.co.uk