‘Honeytrap’ fears for academy bid

NBENLM110111B2 - Ecclesbourne school Duffield. Teachers' strike
NBENLM110111B2 - Ecclesbourne school Duffield. Teachers' strike

THE general secretary of the UK’s largest teachers’ union believes Ecclesbourne School is being lured into a ‘honeytrap’ as it considers whether to convert to an academy.

Chris Keates, of the NASUWT, joined staff from the Duffield school on the picket line on Thursday as they went on strike in opposition to the academy proposals.

The 18 staff, out of the school’s 98 teachers, are members of the NASUWT. They also walked out on Tuesday, January 11.

Mr Keates claims that the promise of more money that goes with academy conversion is nothing more than a honeytrap.

He said: “Figures being bandied around are being grossly exaggerated, are totally misleading, not backed by accurate figures, and mean schools are being misled.

“Some headteachers and governors are sleepwalking into a honeytrap set by the coalition government. Academy conversion is an irreversible leap into the unknown.”

Meanwhile, the school opened as usual and said lessons were not hit.

A school spokesman said of Thursday’s strike: “I am pleased to report that we were able to operate a normal timetable, with normal levels of attendance and minimum disruption to lessons.

“The students were supervised in their classes in the usual way and in addition to our normal timetable, year nine Enterprise Day ran as planned.

“No strike action is scheduled for this week, although from Friday, January 21, further action short of strike action is planned by members of the NASUWT.

“Thanks to everyone who has helped us to operate as smoothly as possible, especially our students, who have been excellent throughout.”

The school also rubbished claims by Dave Wilkinson, NASUWT’s local secretary, that children were put in communal areas where they could read, as a result of the strike.