A LEADING Kirklees trade unionist has slammed a proposal to open two academy schools in the district.
Last month council leader Clr Robert Light announced plans to set up academies in Batley and Huddersfield.
In return for £2m start-up costs, businesses or religious groups would have a large say in the schools' recruitment and curriculum.
But most of the £25m cost of a new academy school is met by the taxpayer.
National Union of Teachers (NUT) spokeswoman Hazel Dawson believes this is unfair.
She said: "Creating academies in place of community schools transfers publicly-funded assets to unaccountable sponsoring bodies."
She fears academies would harm neighbouring schools by cherry-picking the brightest children.
Ms Dawson said: "They are a threat to fair admissions procedures and have a profoundly destabilising effect on other schools' ability to achieve a balance of abilities among their pupils.
"The NUT's position is based on evidence, while the government's is founded on spin."
Ms Dawson is speaking at a TUC meeting in the Labour Rooms at Cross Street in Huddersfield today at 7.30pm.