Union fury over Holywells academy plan

MEMBERS of the National Union of Teachers in Suffolk are today threatening strike action over the proposal to create the county's first academy at Holywells.

MEMBERS of the National Union of Teachers in Suffolk are today threatening strike action over the proposal to create the county's first academy at Holywells.

It was confirmed this week that Swedish education company Kunskapsskolan would be taking over as sponsor of the Holywells Academy in a move welcomed by the governors and Suffolk County Council.

However the NUT today reacted with fury. A statement issued by the Suffolk branch said: “Making Holywells into an academy is tantamount to giving away a community asset to a profit-making company.

“Suffolk will be a partner in the academy but, as they have admitted, they will be a minor partner and will have no real say in the running of the school as all decisions are ultimately taken by the Swedish sponsor.


You may also want to watch:


“There are no real guarantees about term dates, uniform, pay and conditions, local community use or any of the other facets of a local, community school.”

Graham White, Secretary of the Suffolk NUT said: “There is a real danger that Holywells will not become the successful school that all of us want.

Most Read

“I have grave concerns as to how they are going to make a profit out of providing education to our young people. Evidence indicates that when a private company takes over a public company there are inevitably redundancies and a lower level of service.”

Allan Cadzow, area director for children and young people at Suffolk County Council said: “The preferred sponsor, Kunskapsskolan, has talked with staff at the school and has been able to allay concerns regarding pay and conditions.

“There will be no fundamental changes to current arrangements. The academy will be operated by a not for profit charity, which will be set up by Kunskapsskolan and will follow the clear rules set out by the DCSF (Department for Children Schools and Families).

“All money received by the charity to run the academy will be invested in facilities and improve opportunities for young people.”

He insisted that the public could still have their say: “Decisions have certainly not already been made. Public consultation later in the year will not simply be a case of going through the motions.

“Public consultation means exactly that. Parents, staff and the wider community will all have the opportunity to have their say on the plans before the County Council's Cabinet makes a final decision.

“Ultimately the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families has to give their final approval on the proposal.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus