Teachers on strike over plans to change Derbyshire school into academy

NASUWT members at Friesland School in Derbyshire are today on strike over plans to convert the school into an academy.

The teachers, who started the five-day strike on Wednesday, fear the move could affect their job security and working conditions, as well as educational entitlements for pupils.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: “There is no educational or financial benefit to converting Friesland School into an academy. Teachers’ pay and conditions of service are inextricably linked to high standards of education for children and young people and there is a real concern that academy conversion will result in a deterioration of conditions.

“The NASUWT and its members deeply regret any disruption which will be caused to pupils and parents. The teachers at Friesland School are all dedicated and committed members of staff, who have been forced into this position because of the threat of unnecessary structural change which the NASUWT does not believe is in the best interests of either pupils or staff at the school.”

NASUWT South Derbyshire Deputy Association Secretary John Godkin said: “Teachers have been left with no choice but to take this strike action to show their deep concerns about the proposed changes. We urge the employer to recognise there is no consensus or appetite for this proposal from staff and to work with the NASUWT to find an alternative way forward.

“The primary concern of Friesland teachers is their terms and conditions, but all Derbyshire teachers are aware of the impact of academisation on local school provision in Derbyshire. NASUWT members know that Friesland School has served the Sandiacre community for generations and want to see this preserved.”

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