Bowland High School staff to strike over academy plan

Teachers and support staff at a Lancashire high school are to strike over plans to turn the school into an academy, unions have announced.

Bowland High School in Grindleton, near Clitheroe, announced in March that it would apply for academy status.

Members of Unison, NUT and NASUWT are to strike on Friday morning, over how the changes will affect their employment status, career development and terms and conditions.

The school was unavailable to comment.

'Clear message'

If the plans go ahead, the school would become an independent organisation and no longer be overseen by Lancashire County Council.

John Girdley, from the NASUWT, said: "The staff, from all unions, couldn't possibly send a clearer message to the head and governors.

"We don't want to be a part of an academy and we have no faith or trust in your proposals for the school."

NUT's Lancashire secretary Ken Cridland said £5.281m had been spent on academies in Lancashire.

"Others are suffering for Bowland High to become an academy," he said.

"The ways academies are set up is also at the expense of local democratic control.

"Academy chains run by unelected business people are waiting to take control of schools like Bowland High as soon as they get the chance.

'High performing'

He added: "What is happening is immoral, unethical and undermines democracy."

Carol Lukey, of Unison, said staff were also concerned about the potential affects on the wider community.

"There is no evidence to support the view that academies achieve better results - but there is clear evidence that academies admit fewer pupils from more deprived areas," she said.

"Bowland High School is already a high performing school with high achieving pupils and we feel it should continue to serve the local community under local authority control."

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