Staff strike over academy plan

Garstang High school putting up a picket in protest
Garstang High school putting up a picket in protest
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GARSTANG teachers took to the picket lines as part of proposals to transform their school into an academy.

Around 30 teachers from the market town’s high school boycotted class yesterday as they joined in a second day of industrial action this month over the school’s decision to enter into consultation to become an academy.

Staff fear for pay and conditions if their school is granted academy status and believe cuts will be made in the local community.

The Government has invited all schools to consider academy status as part of the scheme which will see many break away from local authority control.

But unions have reacted with fury to proposals saying it will lead to a two tier education system and an increased culture of competitiveness.

Representatives from the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers NASUWT and National Union of teachers (NUT) joined staff on the picket line.

John Girdley, NASUWT rep said: “The decision to press ahead in the face of deep professional concerns from teachers should cause parents and the local community to press the governors to rethink their intentions. Converting to academy status is irreversible. There is no going back.”

But headteacher Phil Birch, said he was “disappointed” by the strike action defended the consultation saying no decision had yet been made.

He said: “Our commitment to staff pay, terms and conditions is a matter of public record.”