The head teacher at the Bridge Special School has announced her intention to turn the school into an Academy. We, as a branch are 100% opposed to this.Rosemary Plummer, Islington Branch Schools Convenor reports below:
"UNISON branch reps and reps at the school have worked very closely with the NUT and the GMB ( in this case we have the majority of members) over the last few weeks to try and fight the planned attempt to turn the Bridge into an academy.
We have just under 50 members split between two sites. We met during the consultation period with the Head Teacher and also with one of the governors.
We have also met our members on three different occasions. We asked them if they wished to take industrial action and by a show of hands it was unanimous. We also held a public meeting where a local Councillor attended who made it quite clear she had not heard about the Bridge thinking of becoming an academy from the school. This leads us to believe the consultation was not transparent. Jeremy (Corbyn MP) was also in attendance at our public meeting along with a few of the school governors. It was well attended.
We had planned to lobby the final meeting with the governing body but unfortunately the Head Teacher changed the date at the last minute due to issues on pensions. The secret ballot was sent to her via Paul Atkins of the NUT requesting that this is shown to the governors. This was not allowed due to it appearing after the consultation period. Paul is going to email the governing body with these results as it is clear that the workforce of the Bridge do not want this very good special needs school to become an academy.
Jane Doolan (Branch Secretary)and myself attended all these meetings and didn't make it home until around 10pm each night, however we are both passionate around keeping our schools a part of the LEA. We will continue to campaign against academies."