Bosses at a school due to become an academy have reiterated their support in the face of opposition from education unions.

Yesterday (October 11) The Argus revealed how representatives of the ATL, NASUWT, NUT and UNISON had criticised plans for Worthing High to become an academy.

But last night current headteacher Carolyn Dickinson, who replaced Alison Beer following her resignation over the matter, said staff at the school were behind the scheme.

She said: “The whole leadership team is committed to continue our improvement journey to ensure that all students achieve the very best at Worthing High.”

Tony Cohen, chairman of governors, said all governors were also in support.

He said: “It has been alleged that we have had many resignations from the governing body – this is not true – one governor resigned back in May as his term of office had ended and the general turnover we have experienced is at normal levels for a school of this size.”

At their recent open evening for new students, Mrs Dickinson spoke to members of the Worthing High Anti Academy Group (WHAAG) and offered to have a meeting with the “committee” of the group to discuss any continuing concerns they might have, including reports several staff had left due to the plans.

She added: “At the end of the summer term eight teaching staff did leave the school.

"Two of our staff left to work for academies in East Sussex, one gained an exciting job overseas in Hong Kong and others left to pursue promotional opportunities in local West Sussex schools.

“We have appointed 13 new teaching staff, starting at the school in September, several on fixed-term contracts covering maternity leave.”