Birmingham & Black Country

Montgomery Primary School teachers strike over academy plan

Picket line at Montgomery Primary School Image copyright Other
Image caption About 60 people, including parents and teachers, manned a picket line outside the school earlier

Teachers at a primary school in Birmingham have gone on strike for a second time over plans to turn it into an academy.

Governors at Montgomery Primary School, in Sparkbrook, have backed proposals to remove it from local authority control and seek an external sponsor.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said academy status would improve standards at some of the poorest schools.

Teachers at the school also took industrial action in December.

A 300-name petition of parents against the proposal was handed in on Monday.

'Less say'

Some parents at the school said they had not been consulted properly.

Mohammed Ashraf, who has a 10-year-old daughter at the school, said it was "unnecessary and unjust to remove all choice" and to "impose" academy status on the school.

Mr Ashraf also said he was concerned parents would have less say in how the school was run and how money was spent if a private sponsor took it over.

Earlier, about 60 staff and parents manned picket lines outside the school until about 09:45 GMT, according to the NASUWT teaching union.

In Ofsted's latest report, dating back to 2009, Montgomery primary was rated as "satisfactory".

Anne Brimacombe, from the NASUWT, said: "Parents and teachers feel the school is improving.

"Results are set to go up this year and we don't think it's a failing school."

Public meeting

She added that there were three outstanding schools in the area that could offer support to improve standards.

A public meeting is due to take place at Sparkbrook Community Hall and Islamic Centre at 19:30 GMT on Thursday.

The 200 poorest-performing schools in the country are being encouraged to seek academy status.

The schools have been identified based on Key Stage Two Sats results between 2004 and 2009.

Many schools opted out of Sats in 2010.

The Department for Education said becoming an academy was the "right course" for Montgomery Primary, which has about 700 pupils and employs 150 staff.

It said: "Sponsored Academy status will give the school the impetus it needs to raise standards and help pupils meet the national standards for literacy and numeracy.

"Academies have already turned around hundreds of struggling secondary schools across the country and are improving their results at twice the national average rate."

Birmingham City Council said it was supporting the school and a consultation over the plans would take place.

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