Manchester

Oldham teachers strike over Crompton House academy plan

Teachers at a Greater Manchester school are staging a one-day strike in protest at plans for it to opt out of council control and become an academy.

More than two thirds of the 95 teaching staff at Crompton House School in Shaw, Oldham, have joined the strike.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) said they are angry that the change is being proposed at time when the school will be without a head.

The school believes opting out will improve pupils' education.

Academies are funded through central government, have greater control over their budgets and can set their own pay and conditions for staff.

NUT spokesman for Oldham, Tony Harrison, said: "The school's head is about to retire and the governors are proposing that the school become an academy, and change the way it is run and funded at a time when there will be nobody in post to run the school.

"We are reserving the right to take further action if we don't get anywhere today."

'Best opportunities'

The union, along with the second biggest teachers' union, the NASUWT said it will write to the school's governing body asking for discussions over the proposals.

The NUT said that if it did not feel that progress had been made in the talks after two weeks, then it would consider further industrial action.

Outgoing head teacher Elsie Tough said that she was "disappointed" by the strike.

"The governors have a duty to act in the best interests of the school and they are determined to make a decision based on what is best for the present and future pupils of Crompton House," said Mrs Tough.

"We believe that conversion would allow us not only to maintain our high standards but also to drive innovation and develop our school in ways that would ensure we continue to provide every pupil with the very best educational opportunities.

"Consultation with unions, staff and parents to date has been very helpful, showing us what further research and specialist advice is needed.

"Further consultation with stakeholders is planned and feedback will be used to inform the governors' final decision."

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