The NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, is balloting members in 13 primary schools in Birmingham which are being threatened with forced conversion to academy status.
The NASUWT has serious concerns over the Coalition Government’s academies programme and its impact on the working conditions of teachers, headteachers and other school staff, local democracy, educational standards and state education.
Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said:
"The Secretary of State has tried every trick in the book to persuade schools to become academies.
"He has sought to bribe them with offers of additional funding. He has shamelessly manipulated data about academy success, increased their freedoms and feted their headteachers.
"Despite all this he has only managed to secure just over 1,500 academies out of a total of over 22,000 schools.
"The Secretary of State's latest ruse to shore up his failing academisation project is forced academies.
"Schools in Birmingham and all over the country are now facing unacceptable and unfair pressure to covert.
"This is no way to run an education service. This is not the way to improve educational outcomes.
"There is no evidence that simply converting a school into an academy raises standards.
"There is evidence, however, that academisation can result in local communities losing access to their local school; significant amounts of money being diverted from supporting pupils to fund the administration and high salaries of academy providers; and parents being disenfranchised.
"The Birmingham schools are just the latest victims of Coalition ideology.
"From time to time, a small minority of schools need help and support to overcome challenges and to provide the best possible learning environment for their pupils.
"The evidence is clear that with the right support, guidance and leadership structures in place, sustainable improvements in performance can be secured in these schools."
Notes to editors
The schools which are being balloted are:
Erdington Hall Primary School;
Jervoise Junior School;
Northfield Manor Primary School;
Westminster Primary School;
Hobmoor Primary School;
Mansfield Green Junior and Infant School;
Tame Valley Junior School;
Tiverton Primary School;
West Heath Primary School;
Billesley Primary School;
Chivenor Junior and Infant School;
Matthew Boulton Primary School; and
City Road Primary School
This is the first ever collective ballot across a number of schools in one local authority against academisation.
The NASUWT, with the support of members, will be seeking to take such action in other groups of schools where academisation is being forced upon them.
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