GOVERNORS have decided to convert their school to an academy.

But a teachers’ leader last night vowed to fight on against the radical change at Salendine Nook High.

The board of governors voted this week to switch to academy status by the end of the year.

The move means the school will be funded directly by Government, with no influence from Kirklees Council.

Salendine Nook High will also be able to change its curriculum and alter staff’s pay and conditions.

Chair of governors David Clarke announced the decision yesterday afternoon.

He said: “At the governing body meeting on July 6, the governors made the decision to apply to the Department for Education for the school to become an academy.

“This decision has not been taken lightly. Governors started considering academy information in January 2011 and have carried out a full consultation with parents, students, staff and all stakeholders.

“Following the vote, all governors are fully committed to the process for the benefit of the school and all concerned. We hope to convert to an academy on December 1, 2011.”

Mr Clarke added that the new academy school would not make radical changes.

He said: “The governors have given assurances that the school will continue to maintain close links with Kirklees and we will still serve our local community and have the same priority admission area for pupils.

“We will continue to have the same ethos and values for the school. There will be no changes to school term dates and no changes to pay and terms and conditions for staff.

“We believe staff will be more secure as a result of obtaining increased levels of funding.

“The school has been recognised by Ofsted as being extremely successful. We believe academy conversion will enable the school to build on this success for the benefit of all.”

But Kirklees National Union of Teachers secretary Howard Roberts said the fight against the change would continue.

“It’s a very sad day that a handful of people have made this decision when parents and teachers are opposed,” he said.

“There’s still time to turn this around and parents and teachers will be campaigning on this.

“In other parts of the country there’s been successful opposition to the change after a decision has been made.”

Mr Roberts added there was no need for Salendine Nook High to move out of the council sector.

“It’s bizarre to talk of ‘Kirklees Council control’. The council allows schools to get on with things,” he said. “Academies are Government schools.

“The Government calls the shots.”

Salendine Nook High governor Clr Nicola Turner voted against the change at Wednesday’s meeting.

The Colne Valley Lib Dem said: “The governors voted by a majority to become an academy. I wasn’t in favour of the decision but it was a democratic decision and I will go along with it.

“We need to get the best outcome for the school and ensure the staff keep their pay and conditions.”

Clr Christine Stanfield also opposes the move.

The Lindley Lib Dem said yesterday: “I don’t know why there has been this rush for really good schools to become academies.

“I don’t think anyone has enough information to go ahead with this, because it’s a one-way street.”