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More strikes at Worthing High in protest at academy plans
Teachers at a Worthing school which is preparing to become an academy are to walk out again.
Worthing High is set to convert to an academy in December, despite strong opposition.
Teachers at the school walked out over the plans in July and are now set to strike again on Tuesday and on November 13.
The acting headteacher has responded by saying she is organising an “alternative curriculum” in a bid to keep the school open.
Marianne Dark, from the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said: “This action is in response to the school’s continued plans to convert despite the concerns of our members.
“We are keen to resolve the matter and are seeking a meeting with the powers that be.”
The Worthing Academy Action Group, which is made up of parents and prospective parents, has been strongly opposed to the plans since they were announced.
Sarah Maynard, from the group, said: “The teachers don’t want to do this but they have no choice. Nobody wants to see this disruption but the governors and senior members of staff aren’t listening.
“There is no louder message than your own teachers preparing to go on strike for the second and third time.”
Fellow member Linda McVeigh, who has a daughter in Year 11, said: “I think it’s appalling that the chair of the governors is not listening to parents. There isn’t even a list of governors on the school’s website. It’s that kind of secrecy that is really worrying.”
Two of the three unions represented at the school, which include 48 of the 63 teachers as members, have decided to strike.
The NUT and NASUWT have informed the school of their plans.
However the school maintains that there is limited opposition to conversion plans.
Acting headteacher Carolyn Dickinson said: “School staff are working hard with the leadership team to plan an alternative curriculum for Tuesday which will enable us to remain open for all students.
“The governing body had continued to give staff reassurance that there is no intent to change existing pay and conditions upon our conversion and indeed did so publicly at our staff consultation meeting earlier this term.
“I hope the strike will not take place but if it does we are determined to ensure that student learning is not impacted.”
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