Sunday, 16 January 2011

Would-be academies warned off negotiating with unions

Much of the rhetoric around the government's (thus far not tremendously successful) drive to get schools to opt out of local authority control and become academies, has been the new freedom schools will enjoy if they convert.

Just before Christmas one of the big teachers' unions, the NASUWT, was shown a letter sent by Lord Hill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools in the Department for Education, that threatened would-be academies their application would be viewed unfavourably if they entered into any agreement with the NASUWT.

Some freedom that is! In fact, many of the existing academies have not, as the government would like, ended agreements with trade unions representing staff. There are clear advantages to schools' governing bodies in keeping to nationally agreements on matters such as pay, as well as to staff.

The NASUWT has written to Lord Hill pointing out the many inaccuracies in his letter to schools, as well as objecting to the political drift of the letter.


Anonymous said...

More here.

vickim57 said...

Thanks for the link. The last two paragraphs are particularly dismaying:

One sixth-form student from Queen Elizabeth Girl's school, in the north London Borough of Barnet, reported that she had been told "it's none of your business" when she asked whether students would be consulted on its plans to become an academy.

She also said that she had been harassed by senior staff when they discovered she was circulating a petition against the plans.