Strike action to protest academy takeovers

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A TEACHING union boss has threatened strike action if schools in Portsmouth try to convert to academies against the will of teachers.

Sion Reynolds, president of Portsmouth NASUWT, has responded angrily to the news that headteachers are seriously looking at turning their schools into academies, as reported on Tuesday.

He said: ‘Becoming an academy drives a school into the chaos of the marketplace, fostering a beggar-thy-neighbour approach and jeopardising the viability of neighbouring schools.

‘Their funding is top-sliced from local authority funding – any extra money for an academy means less for state schools.

‘There is pressure from the government but schools must resist, and we’ll take strike action if we have to.’

Miltoncross is set to become the city’s second academy, after its head announced a desire to convert as early as September this year.

Amanda Martin, Portsmouth branch secretary for the NUT, said: ‘Schools in the city have a great working relationship, which academies would invariably break up because they set their own rules. We are strongly opposed to them.’

Ruth Taylor, Portsmouth branch representative for Voice teachers’ union, said: ‘There is no proof whatsoever that academies perform better than comprehensive schools, but the government seems to think they are the panacea for schools and will transform education.’