MOST staff at Salendine Nook High School have opposed the school’s move towards becoming an academy, claims a union leader.
Mike Forster, education steward for union Unison, says 95% of union members at the school have voted against the school bidding for academy status.
Approximately 85% of staff at Salendine Nook High School (SNHS) are members of unions.
But despite the opposition, the school’s governing board has been pressing on with the move, Mr Forster says.
Now Unison and its fellow unions, the NUT, NASWUT and ATL, have petitioned the school’s governing board and demanded an urgent meeting with its governors. They hope to meet this week.
The school is set to become an academy on February 1.
Those who oppose academies believe they leave a school vulnerable to the political whims of private companies and religious groups.
The petition says: “We have canvassed the views of our members extensively and our members remain overwhelmingly opposed to SNHS becoming an academy.
“As a result of the strength of feeling from the staff a petition was circulated by members seeking a response from the governing body and requesting an urgent meeting.”
Salendine Nook High School has been accused of telling some staff that redundancies would follow if the school did not convert to an academy.
But it is alleged the school told support staff that their working conditions would remain the same and that some may be given a pay rise.
Mr Forster said: “It was an overwhelming result and we hope the school starts listening.
“We need some answers from the governing body and we hope they will listen to our concerns and meet with us this week.”
Salendine Nook headteacher Christine Spencer said: “The letter sent to the chair of governors requested a meeting.
“The governors always respond positively to these requests and the meeting has been arranged. It is taking place this week.”
The school is one of three Kirklees schools hoping to become academies.
Salendine Nook, Birkenshaw Middle School and the Community Science College at Thornhill are the latest to apply to the Department for Education (DfE) for Academy status.
The process usually takes about three to four months and, if granted, would bring the total number of academies in Kirklees to 10.
The others are: Moor End Academy, Shelley College, The Mirfield Free Grammar and Sixth Form, Heckmondwike Grammar School, Castle Hall Academy specialising in languages at Mirfield and Batley Girls’ High School Visual Arts College. Lindley Junior School is the only Kirklees primary school to have converted to date.