Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy's parent company has confirmed that a bout of staff cuts will be on the way.
The announcement follows the news that the school is to close its sixth form department for good at the end of the year, which for year 12 students will fall half way through their A-levels.
But the news that the school has now started a consultation process on its future structure and staffing was unsurprising to students, who have petitioned and even attempted to protest the decision in a bid to reverse it.
And the school's fate is now sealed as at least half of the 40 year 12 students have already moved on to other schools.
Now Ormiston Academies Trust have now faced up to questions over how many staff would be affected.
A spokesperson said: "No decisions have been taken. The consultation proposes that the maximum number of positions affected is 21, around half of which are teaching posts. A number of posts are also part-time.
"This consultation is very much about safeguarding the future of the 11-16 school, which is performing strongly."
Year 13 pupil Amy Watkinson, 17, pre-empted the announcement with her own concerns.
She said when the closure was announced: "Teachers will be loosing their jobs, Students will never get the second chance that the sixth form give them, The loss of community spirit will be dramatic, less students will have the opportunity to reach their goals of going to university and more students will no longer be able to afford further education learning.
Many pupils have praised their teachers at this difficult time, as she added: "The sixth form is such a supportive and expressive community. The staff's dedication to their students is phenomenal; they are such inspiring and admirable people and I am deeply upset that they might have their careers stolen from them at the expense of this poor decision. This sixth form has an extremely positive impact on me and my education."
The Trust explained that the decision to cut costs amid dwindling numbers of sixth form enrollments would allow them to focus on the lower school.
A spokesman added: "“Like all schools, we are affected by financial pressures, while we have also made changes to the curriculum in the 11-16 school to best suit students’ needs, and we are also closing the sixth form.
“But by addressing these head-on, we are confident that we will continue to be a successful, vibrant school which delivers the highest quality of education to our students, underlined by the increase in our GCSE this year. We look forward to the responses to the consultation and to then deciding next steps.”