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Teachers, Unions and Parents Concerned by School Status Changes

Friday 7th January 2011

Industrial action is being planned by some school teachers who are concerned that their school doesn’t have all the facts it needs in order to make an informed decision about changing the school status to an academy. They say they are concerned about changes to their terms and conditions if the school becomes an academy.

Academies are funded directly by the government and not via the local authority so control of budgets and how the school is run will change dramatically. Teachers at a Derbyshire school are planning to go on strike over a possible change to academy status. Head teacher Lesley Underhill of Ecclesbourne School in Derbyshire said: "We are investigating the benefits and possible disadvantages of becoming an academy. The governors want to act in the best interest of the pupils and we need all that information before we make a final decision," she said.

Although the government is encouraging education reform by giving teachers, school governors and parents the choice to change to academy status, the teaching unions have come under fire for trying to put obstacles in their way. Some fear that the unions are simply worried about losing power, but the unions say they are defending potential threats to teacher’s working conditions and pay as well as opposing potential educational inequality and social segregation.

 

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