FORTY teachers at Ilkeston School walked out on Tuesday in the first of six days of planned industrial action over the redundancies of two teachers.
The NASUWT union could not reach an agreement with governors over the job losses, which the school has said were unavoidable, but which the union said would adversely impact on teachers’ workloads.
The school remained open to GCSE, A and AS level students but closed to years seven to 10, affecting about 650 pupils.
Five more days of strike action at the school are planned for May 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26.
NASUWT national executive member Dave Wilkinson said: “This strike action could have been avoided by the governors agreeing to postpone the two redundancies of NASUWT members, but the governors chose not to do so, thereby making strike action inevitable.”
Headteacher Stephen Daniels told parents at a meeting on Monday that the job losses were made because of a five per cent cut to next year’s budget, meaning the school is set to lose about £575,000.
Governors told parents at the meeting that they had unanimously agreed the recent proposal to convert to an academy in September under the sponsorship of the Ormiston trust, in the hope that this will secure them ‘significant investment’ in future years.
Chair of governors Helene Morland said: “There are less students coming to the school. It’s a sad picture of what could happen if we don’t move with the times.
Referring to the redundancies, she said: “We go down this road, or we climb this ladder.”
Mr Daniels added: “Clearly in the future, capital investment is going to be very difficult to secure. The best way to secure funding is working with a successful sponsor like Ormiston.”
Ormiston has just completed the conversion of Bennerley School in Cotmanhay to an academy.
Parents’ fears that one of the schools would close were allayed by governors, as well as concerns that the admissions process would change.
The conversion is still subject to further consultation with parents and a visit by governors to an existing Ormiston academy.