Academy decision for Ecclesbourne School is imminent

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A DECISION on whether to convert Ecclesbourne School in Duffield into an academy “is nearing its conclusion”.

The controversial issue prompted two days of strike action by 18 staff members at the school last month.

They are members of the teaching union NASUWT, which has ‘serious concerns’ about converting schools into academies.

But this week it emerged that a decision on the school’s future status was now imminent.

A spokeswoman for the school said: “Over the past six months, the Ecclesbourne School has been going through the process to decide whether it should convert to academy status.

“This process is now nearing its conclusion and the governing body is expecting to come to its decision shortly.”

The school sought to reassure parents who may have received a leaflet from the NASUWT.

The spokeswoman added: “From feedback received, it seems that the leaflet may have caused some anxiety.

“There are two key issues. Firstly, the decision as to whether or not to convert will be taken by governors whose main concern is, and always has been, to ensure the best education possible for our students. Governors have an obligation to fulfil this duty and have no other vested interests.

“Secondly, the indication is that our school will be significantly better off financially as an academy.

“Should this prove to be the case, then we will be in a position to enhance educational provision, improve classroom resources and accommodation and secure the terms and conditions of service for our staff.

“The leaflet is right when it says Ecclesbourne is a successful and high-performing school. However, there is still scope for development and improvement.”