Updated 2.07pm, adds school statement

At least four teachers and staff members have quit their jobs at St Albert the Great College following the sacking of their headmaster earlier this year.

Two out of six primary teachers, the secondary school's deputy head and a 'key' person among the secretarial staff all resigned in the past weeks, sources said.

One teacher confirmed to Times of Malta that she left because of the sacking of the Valletta school's headmaster Mario Mallia. Another said her reason for quitting had nothing to do with it and she would have left anyway.

Furthermore, in a statement issued on Friday, the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT) said that "many parents" are seeking to relocate their children to other schools, as preparations for the reopening of the new scholastic year are "several weeks behind schedule", with no timetable published to date. 

Mallia, served as headmaster of St Albert the Great College for 16 years, before being fired in July.

The sacking sparked controversy and prompted the Malta Union of Teachers, school teachers and parents to take to the streets and social media in protest.

Mallia said he had been fired after pushing for measures to improve inclusivity for students of different genders and beliefs.

But Dominican friar and college rector Fr Aaron Zahra insisted the sacking had nothing to do with inclusivity policies. He said Mallia was refusing to cooperate with his superiors and be accountable to them.

Mallia has since filed a complaint before the Industrial Tribunal, claiming unfair dismissal and requesting reinstatement and compensation.

School 'operating with no licence'

On Friday, the MUT claimed the school is operating without a licence because Mallia was the licence holder of the college and his employment termination has led the rector to run the school without a licence.

"The rector is giving 'false' assurances to the school community that preparations for the new scholastic year are in place," the union said, adding that the situation is far from normal.

"Parents are rightly seeking assurances about the next scholastic year's opening and all they seem to be getting are empty promises. Children are unfortunately the ones suffering from the decisions of the rector and board."

The union also reiterated that its position regarding the trade dispute and directive stands, following a legal letter it received from the rector's lawyers, requesting that it lifts the despute and directives.

"The MUT calls, once again, for the rector and board’s resignation or termination from office," the statement said.

School blames union

In a statement on Friday afternoon, the school said that despite multiple attempts to reach out to MUT in hope of resolving the dispute, the union has not accepted any requests for a meeting.

It noted that issues regarding the school licence have been ongoing for more than a year. The administration has spoken with the competent authorities, and a resolution is expected before the beginning of the scholastic year.

It said that the rector and the provincial have been attempting to run the timetable since mid-August but these efforts have not yielded the desired outcome because of the union's directives.

"The college remains open for discussion with MUT to avoid unnecessary pressure on our students and staff members," it said.

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