Teachers urged not to strike over academy plans for secondary school in Wembley

Teachers at Copland Community School plan to strike

Teachers at Copland Community School plan to strike - Credit: Archant

Staff at Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue will walk out on May 23

Cllr Michael Pavey is the new lead member for children and families

Cllr Michael Pavey is the new lead member for children and families - Credit: Archant

Teachers at a troubled school in Wembley have been urged not to take strike action over forced academisation.

The council has issued a plea to all teachers at Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue, calling on them to halt strike action planned for May 23.

Copland, which is currently the only local authority controlled secondary school left in the borough, was slammed in a recent Ofsted report and placed into special measures.

Under governmental rules all schools branded as ‘failing’ by Ofsted are forced to adopt academy status by having a sponsor placed with them and becoming directly funded by the government.

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Today, the Times revealed that Copland had been earmarked for conversion and that teachers had voted in favour of strike action.

But Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of the council, called on teachers to stall the plans.

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He said: “Nothing is more important than our children’s education. I am a trade unionist myself and hugely supportive of workers’ rights but our children’s education is at risk at Copland and strike action can only make things worse.

“I strongly urge all teachers at Copland to reconsider and to work together with me, children’s parents and the Government to deliver the best possible outcome for the school.”

Hank Roberts, national president of the association of teachers and lecturers (ATL) told the Times earlier today strike action was “regrettable” but would not cause “nearly as much damage” as a forced academisation would.

Cllr Michael Pavey, the newly elected lead member for children and families on the council, said: “I am opposed to forcing schools which are not failing to become academies, but this is simply not the situation at Copland. Our children deserve a better education than they are currently receiving there and no governance arrangement is more important than that. I urge teachers to stay at work and be part of the solution.”

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