LETTER: Saddened to be going on strike at Bowland High SChool

Regarding the industrial action taking place today at Bowland High School, we are deeply saddened to take this action, which has been voted for by majority of the teaching and support staff of the school.

For the vast majority of us, this is the first time we have ever taken part in strike action.

We have deliberately chosen a day where there are no external exams. Indeed we will be teaching our Year 11 pupils for the next two weeks when other secondary schools in our town have already granted study leave.

Why then do we feel so strongly on this issue of the change of employer resulting from academy status?

The idea of a place of education being set up as an independent “business” while remaining in the state sector sits uncomfortably with us. The additional funding is not guaranteed long-term and we would have to deal with any future problems without the support of our local authority and the “family” of schools.

To give absolute power to the Headteacher and Governing Body, trustworthy as they are at the moment, does give rise to worries about any future changes.

We are very proud to work at Bowland High, rated an outstanding school by Ofsted. We are perceived, we believe, by pupils, parents and friends of the school as being a hardworking, dedicated and caring staff.

We have been committed and innovative in moving the school forward but we fear that, at a time of great change in education, this will be a major change too many, casting us adrift at a time when the future of our current pupils – and those yet to come – needs to be our overriding priority.

Please rest assured we have not taken this decision lightly and will continue to place the future of our school community at the forefront of our professional lives.

UNION REPRESENTATIVES OF NASUWT, NUT, ATL and UNISON,

Bowland High School, Grindleton