NUT members at 13 primary schools in Birmingham are being balloted today amid plans to move the schools out of local democratic control. NUT members have asked to be balloted, alongside colleagues in other unions because they are justifiably angry that the change of employer could have a significant impact on their terms and conditions of employment.
The plans being pushed by the Local Authority are part of the coalition government’s ideology to privatise the education system in England. As part of the plan, Birmingham primary schools are being targeted by the Department for Education who are telling heads and governors to “jump ship” before Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, seizes control of the schools, making them directly accountable to himself, rather than the local communities they serve.
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said today:
“Forced academies have nothing to do with raising standards of education. There is no evidence at all to support the notion that changing the status of a school will transform the educational attainment of its pupils. The majority of the school communities in Birmingham do not support this move. The Local Authority needs to listen to the people who elected them.
“Primary academies are a fairly new phenomenon and there is no evidence to suggest that a change in status will automatically raise standards. What it will do is take the school further away from the local community and make it accountable only to the Secretary of State in London or a private sponsor or Trust.”
For further information please contact NUT Midlands Regional Office on 01785 244 129 or Caroline Cowie at the NUT Press Office on 0207 380 4706 or 07879480061