School drops plans to become academy

UNIONS GATHERING  ... ouitside  Boldon School as governors meet to decide whether to push for Academy status
UNIONS GATHERING ... ouitside Boldon School as governors meet to decide whether to push for Academy status
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STRIKE action has been avoided at a school after plans to become an academy were scrapped.

Governors have decided not to go ahead with proposals to change Boldon School to the new status.

It follows strong opposition from trade unions, which joined together to stage a protest outside the school, at New Road, Boldon Colliery.

They raised concerns that the move would take the school out of local authority care and would be a step towards privatisation.

Boldon School headteacher Elizabeth Hayes said: “The governing body discussed whether to proceed to consultation stage surrounding academy status at Boldon School and the decision was taken not to proceed.”

The National Union of Teachers (NUT), Unison and the GMB trade unions, and the South Tyneside Public Service Alliance (STPSA), say they are “delighted” at the decision.

The NUT revealed that its members would have been prepared to strike if governors had gone ahead with the plans.

Jill McManus, secretary of NUT’s South Tyneside branch, said: “The campaign was a real team effort.

“We had 100 per cent support for action from NUT members and we campaigned together with the NASUWT and our local Public Services Alliance.

“A key part of the campaign was our work with governors, providing support for those who opposed academy status by giving them the facts and evidence they needed to strengthen their arguments and challenge pro-academy opinions.

“The staff ballots were also critical in demonstrating the strength of views of the staff and letting the governors know, at an early stage in the process, exactly how staff felt.”

Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, said: “We are delighted that the governors have listened to the concerns of staff and taken this decision not to proceed further down the road to academy status.

“I think this decision shows that academy conversion is not inevitable. The NUT will continue to support its members in opposing attempts to break up state education in a way which is bad for teachers, bad for pupils and bad for society.”

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