No sackings at academy

2nd June 2006 at 01:00
"Strike threat on academy contracts" (TES, May 12) paints an inaccurate picture of the North Liverpool academy.

In preparation for the academy's opening in September, the management team has met teachers and union representatives over the last nine months to discuss the new staffing structure and the transfer of staff from the two predecessor schools, Anfield and Breckfield. We have also held individual consultation meetings with every teacher. The suggestion that teachers are planning a strike is misleading - industrial action has never been mentioned. As is the case with most school mergers, we sadly do not have the capacity to employ every teacher from Anfield and Breckfield. However, we are working with both schools to retain as many staff as possible.

The article's inference that redundancies have been forced is incorrect.

Any redundancies - and there have been few - have been entirely voluntary.

Contrary to the NUT statement, some staff asked the LEA for, and have taken, voluntary severance.

The support roles, referred to in the article, are exactly that; to support teachers in running extra curricular clubs and activities. Such roles are being advertised in schools across the UK as part of workforce reform, and the salaries we offer are in line with the posts offered by other secondaries whether or not they are academies.

The North Liverpool academy will offer a major opportunity for the pupils and community of Anfield and Breckfield, who have previously lacked access to the best that state education can offer. Local children deserve the first-class educational, sporting and vocational opportunities that the academy will provide, and we look forward to working with parents and teachers to achieve this together.

Nigel Ward

Chair of the North Liverpool Academy Trust Board

19 Abercromby Square Liverpool

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