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Schools 'bullied' into becoming academies
3:00pm Saturday 6th October 2012 in News
HEAD teachers are being ‘bullied’ into turning their schools into academies according to a national union official.
John Rimmer, president of the NASUWT teaching union, also believes there is no evidence the new schools raise standards and argues the Government is merely using them as a sideways step towards privitisation.
The Appleton resident spoke out as Lymm High School became the first in the borough to officially open as an academy with Lysander in Padgate and William Beamont in Orford set to follow.
He added: “There is no evidence to support the fact that they raise standards.
“Academies and free schools get extra funding which takes money away from children in the rest of the town.
“Everyone understands the issues around the privitisation of the NHS but they don’t with education.
“What is happening is completely destroying the state education system.”
And he said giving schools greater controls over accounts and salaries is not meaning better deals for teachers.
He added: “There is a disproportionate rise in the salaries of head teachers but the salaries of ordinary teachers are not improving at all.
“Ninety per cent of our members believe what the Government is doing is wrong and it is important the professionals are listened to.”
No primary schools in Warrington have yet applied to become an academy but the Warrington Guardian understands the Government is putting pressure on some schools to change.
Mr Rimmer says it has happened elsewhere.
“The secretary of state is bullying them. I was in Cornwall and spoke to a head who said he did not want to become an academy, the parents did not want it and the governors did not want it.
“But he was given no choice and told by the Government he would be suspended if he did not.”
Mr Rimmer says the union will lobby at the Labour party conference this week in Manchester in a bid to tackle the issue.