Rotherham teachers to fight academy growth

TEACHERS in Rotherham are launching a new campaign to oppose Government plans to turn schools into academies.

The Rotherham branch of the biggest teaching union, the National Union of Teachers, has accused education secretary Michael Gove of putting “relentless” pressure on schools to become academies.

The union has organised a public meeting next Thursday to discuss how to fight the plans, which it says will privatise education.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It  will be addressed by Rotherham primary school headteacher Craig Roberts and borough councillor Brian Steele.

Academies are state schools that receive funding directly from Whitehall, outside of local authority control.

Several secondary and primary schools across the Rotherham borough have become academies. Nationally there are 2,309 academies, including 200 set up under the previous Labour government.

The number is expected to reach 5,000 by the end of this Parliament.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Secondary teacher and Rotherham NUT academies action officer, Gemma Short, said: “Academies pose a threat to local authority-wide services such as the behaviour support service and other specialist services when local authority funding is diverted to academies who do not always buy back these services.”

The latest school to apply for academy status is St Gerard’s Catholic Primary School in Thrybergh.

Governors have signed documentation which has now been submitted to the Diocese of Hallam and to Department for Education for final approval.

It is expected that St Gerard’s, along with other local catholic primary schools, will become an academy on July 1, when it will be part of the Holy Spirit Academy Umbrella Trust along with St Bernard’s Catholic High School.

Rotherham NUT’s public meeting will be held next Thursday from 5pm at Rotherham Town hall and is open to anyone who may be affected by potential academy conversions.