Strike action by teachers

NBENLM110111B1 - Striking teachers on the picket line at Ecclesbourne School in Duffield.
NBENLM110111B1 - Striking teachers on the picket line at Ecclesbourne School in Duffield.

STRIKE action was staged by some teachers at Ecclesbourne School in Duffield yesterday as they fight plans to convert the school into an academy.

The 18 staff, out of the school’s 98 teachers, are members of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union. They were due to be back in work today, Wednesday, but were to walk out again tomorrow.

The school, which has 1,438 pupils, remained open yesterday and lessons were not hit.

According to the NASUWT, they have serious concerns about converting to an academy school, including claims similar systems have not raised educational standards; the removal of teachers from the national pay and conditions framework which ensures schools do not compete against each other for staff; taking the school out of local authority control which may cause education to become fragmented; and that, once converted, there is no going back.

Dave Wilkinson, NASUWT’s local secretary, said: “Teachers at Ecclesbourne have serious concerns about the future of education for the pupils here. We don’t think that becoming an academy is right — so far, all the evidence suggests that academies don’t improve educational standards.”

A spokesman for the school governors said: “We are disappointed that a small number of staff are taking part in industrial action and we regard this action as damaging to the education of our students and totally unjustified.

“It is our duty as a governing body to investigate any initiatives which protect, or may enhance, education, including identifying funding implications involved in becoming an academy. No final decision will be taken on whether to proceed until we are in possession of all the necessary information.”

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