Teachers at a Nottinghamshire school are taking strike action against the threat of being forced into ‘academy status’. (Picture courtesy of NUT)

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Teachers at a Nottinghamshire comprehensive school are taking strike action against the threat of being forced into ‘academy status’ by the Department for Education.

NUT members at The Kimberley School (pictured) say administrators have guaranteed there will be no change to their terms and conditions if the move goes ahead. However, they say experience of other academy conversions means they have no confidence in those assurances.

Louise Regan, NUT deputy division secretary, told UnionNews: “The governors had voted unanimously not to convert, but they’ve had a very quick turnaround because now they claim they’ll get more funding if they allow the change.

“However, that funding is time-limited – and staff here feel it’s a one-off bribe.

“The bottom line is that the staff want their school to remain a community school.”

A recent Ofsted report described the school as ‘a happy and harmonious community’ with exceptionally high attendance rates.

NUT members are due to hold a ‘gate meeting’ outside the school this morning, hoping to explain to parents whey they are taking action and what they see as the danger of conversion to academy status.

It is the second strike of its kind in a week. Last Tuesday, teachers at Downhills primary in north London took industrial action against plans to hand control of the school to a charity founded by a Tory peer and Conservative Party donor.

The NUT says the campaign against academy status has seen a ‘significant’ increase in members at Kimberley.

The teachers say their concerns are about ‘the big picture’, including fears that local authority funds would be directed to the academies, at the expense of other schools and their students.

The school – which has 1300 pupils – compares favourably on official league tables with others in Nottinghamshire, on DfE criteria such as ‘value added’ and the numbers of pupils who achieve five good GCSEs.

The most recent Ofsted inspectors’ report described Kimberley as ‘a good and rapidly improving school’, where students ‘make better than expected progress’.

NUT members say they do not believe academy status is right for the community and will neither help the pupils, not help to retain teachers.


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