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Primary teachers at a rural Northampton school to strike against academy takeover

by Derek Kotz
Industrial Reporter

TEACHERS at a rural Northampton primary school will strike with support from parents in a bid to stop its takeover by an academy trust.

The academisation of the voluntary-aided Church of England Sywell Primary School is deeply opposed by parents, whose petition against the move has been signed by 800 people.

The National Education Union (NEU) said today that its action is supported by a community that has campaigned hard against the change but has been ignored by the governing body and the Peterborough Diocese Education Trust (PDET).

NEU accused the trust of backtracking on a pledge not to proceed with the takeover if it was opposed by the community.

Strike action planned last year was suspended to allow vulnerable children and those of key workers to attend, but the union said it has now run out of options as the transfer is scheduled for February 1.

“Staff at the school have been brilliant during the pandemic and have loads of support from parents,” said Patrick Markey of Northamptonshire NEU.

“We have asked PDET to postpone the takeover and talk to the staff and parents. So far they’ve been ignored so have no choice but to strike as they won’t listen.”   

One mum said: “I fully support the teachers. I signed the petition against the takeover and asked how this would help my children — I haven’t had a response.

“I don’t know why PDET want to take over our school but I’m worried it will change. They shouldn’t be doing this during a pandemic. It isn’t fair.”

The strike action is expected to take place next Wednesday and Thursday.

PDET was approached for comment.

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