West Bromwich teachers strike over academy plans

NASUWT members at Newtown Primary School in West Bromwich today begin the first of five planned days of strike action over plans to convert the school into an academy.

The union fears the plans could affect job security, teachers’ working conditions and educational entitlements for pupils.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: “There is no educational or financial benefit to converting Newtown Primary 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. There is no evidence that structural change raises standards. It does however cause disruption, uncertainty and threatens teachers’ pay and conditions.

“The teachers at Newtown 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 executive member Debbie Hayton 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.”

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