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Hove headteacher shocked about strike over academy plans
12:04pm Friday 11th July 2014 in News
A headteacher is “shocked and disappointed” after finding out about a strike at his school on The Argus’ website.
Hove Park School’s headteacher Derek Trimmer was unable to inform parents and carers about the strike planned for next week after the National Union of Teachers (NUT) balloted with 80% of members opposing plans to convert to academy status.
Brighton and Hove NUT secretary Paul Shellard said yesterday he expected the school to shut when the strike takes place on Wednesday, but Mr Trimmer remains defiant in saying it will remain open.
Mr Trimmer said: “The teaching unions have played a prominent role in the consultation process.
“They have had their voices heard and the NUT ballot is a matter of public record. It is disappointing that the union still feels the need to interrupt learning and disrupt the final week of term.
“The governing body has continually promised the school’s staff that there would be no threat to pay and conditions if an academy conversion went ahead.
“Staff were informed this week that a charter would be provided, guaranteeing that pay and conditions would be protected to at least the nationally agreed levels.
“With that in mind, it is hard to see why strike action is necessary. Objections to government policy on education should be made at the ballot box, not by stopping students coming to school.”
Mr Shellard said about 75% of the staff at the school belonged to the NUT but Mr Trimmer believes it is nearer 32%.
According to the school’s figures, 72 of the 220 staff are members of the NUT.
The consultation process for the school’s controversial plans to convert to an academy is now closed and a decision is to be made on September 22.