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Why do unions hate academies?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by delmamerchant, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    It appears to me that more and more schools are transferring to academies in my neighbouring borough. I am wondering why is that unions are so against academies. Staffs Terms and Conditions are protected indefinitely so what is the issue?
  2. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Oh no, they're not.

    If the academy wants to 'restructure' (and it's odd how often they do, shortly after being academised!!!) then TUPE is dead in the water. And new staff have no STCPD to support them, if the academy chooses not to apply those conditions. In some academies, unions are not even recognised.
  3. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    So why do so many go and work in them if they are that bad?
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Because in some areas MATs are in the majority.
  5. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Academies have powered ahead with the HR model of "Get rid of the expensive teachers and get cheap ones in"

    This model is only starting to unravel now the recruitment/retention crisis is upon us. Even with that a lot of MATs can still maintain this process.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    New staff do not have the same pay and conditions.
    Not all academies recognise unions, so staff can be left unprotected.

    That's just for starters...
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    More sophisticated critics admit that academies cannot make profits, but point out that the people who run them can let contracts to profit-making companies. Quite true, but then so can local-authority-run schools. So can NHS hospitals, for that matter. And what’s wrong with that, providing they’re getting value for money? As someone who’s helped set up four academies and is now the CEO of a multi-academy trust, I can assure you that there are strict rules in place to ensure we do get value for money when letting contracts. We’re audited once a year to make sure we comply. That’s more frequently than local-authority schools.

    Toby Young in The Spectator.

    If Toby Young likes 'em? I think we can take it for granted that they are a WHOLLY BAD THING.
    JL48, HelenREMfan, emerald52 and 5 others like this.
  8. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Our LA told schools some years ago that they could no longer provide the level of support which schools needed, so become an academy. The secondary schools did. Many of the larger primaries did. Which left the smaller primaries struggling. Most of those have banded together to form their own MAT, having seen what happened to primaries who voluntarily joined with their feeder secondary (BAD idea - a takeover in all but name) or joined another (commercial) MAT.

    There really was no choice.
  9. secretteacher2357

    secretteacher2357 Occasional commenter

    I used to work in an academy that was taken over by a MAT. Straight away the older teachers and those with TLR were put under the cosh and bullied out of their jobs. Around 30 staff in less than 2 years. They were replaced by cheaper alternatives (mostly NQTs and SCITT students) on a new style, non-STPCD contract.
    We were told we could retain our originality and school ethos...as long as we followed exactly the same rules as the other academies in the trust, including lesson planning and structure, lesson style, behaviour system, uniform, pay and progression system...in fact pretty much everything.
    The school lost its soul and its experienced teachers and became an exam factory.
    I will never work in a MAT again.
    BetterNow, JL48, sabrinakat and 8 others like this.
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Tackling fraud and corruption in education

    The financial integrity of some academies has recently come under question with the Education Funding Agency (EFA) publishing a series of financial notices to improve in December 2014. Weak governance was also flagged with four trusts exposed as lacking in these areas - namely Theale Green Academy Trust, Durham Free School Limited, the Business Academy Bexley, and the Bishop of Rochester Academy Trust. Good financial management and strong governance are cornerstones for protection against fraud and corruption within schools and academies, so it’s essential to get it right.


    Academies are used by some as cash cows.
    emerald52, tonymars and pepper5 like this.
  11. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Academies seem to hate unions! When my last school became an academy, the management refused to recognise unions, and would not even communicate with them.
  12. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I know of another that did exactly the same thing.

    The HT was a real dragon and even told the teachers the academy would not close in the event of snow. Teachers were expected in despite of any travel warnings from the Police. If a closure due to snow was expected staff were expected to book hotel/B & B accomodation within walking distance. Non attendance would be a disciplinary matter.

    Fortunately it didn't snow that winter.
    tonymars and pepper5 like this.
  13. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    This is happening in mainstream and voluntary aided schools also. Look how many of our fellow commenters/contributors on here are subject to bullying, stress and incompetency procedures. How many are being asked to do more simply because they are at the top of the threshold? Not seeing a big difference.
  14. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    They seem to offer some good benefits. I am thinking of looking at applying to one myself.
  15. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    Does it matter if the school does not recognise the union? Does it affect your ability to belong to one?
  16. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    Re being left unprotected my friend worked in a maintained school where the union were not allowed on the premises.
  17. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    So in terms of provision MATs can be quite useful then?
  18. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    Yes but that would never stand under a hearing?
  19. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

  20. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    There is a lot of talk regarding mainstream schools not paying for unions as they feel that they would rather use the money elsewhere.

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