Letter: No to academies

THE WEST Sussex Teachers’ Association (NUT), representing more than 4,000 teachers in the maintained and private sector in West Sussex, restated its opposition to academies in West Sussex at an executive meeting on February 4.

In its ‘Performance Framework’ West Sussex County Council states that it intends to ‘raise educational standards by encouraging schools to take on academy status’ yet there is no evidence that a change to academy status has this effect; indeed, in at least one West Sussex school it has had the opposite effect.

Despite this, it would appear that currently the work of senior advisers in Support and Intervention is focusing on promoting the controversial and divisive policy of creating academies.

The county council was condemned for failing to address the educational needs of Southwater and instead leaving the field open for the Oasis group to propose an experimental ‘free school’ which will not even be required to employ qualified teachers.

I emphasise that the WSTA will continue to represent teachers in whatever educational setting they find themselves. However I condemned the fact that a minority of West Sussex schools had been forced to become academies regardless of the views of staff or parents.

DAVE THOMAS

District secretary, West Sussex Teachers’ Association (NUT)

County Hall, Chichester