Strike Action at St Helen’s Primary Academy

Staff at St Helen’s Primary Academy in Monk Bretton have been engaging in two further days of strike action this week against unfair management practices from Academies Enterprise Trust (AET). Staff and parents have come together at the picket line over the last two days and have shown strength against a bullying regime. Messages of solidarity have been sent from all across the nation to our brave members who are striking for what they believe in and for a better school for the children and the community. #sthelenswarriors #wewantahappyschool #STHAp11

Why a move to MATs is not the answer

We all know that our local authority faces the challenge of continuing to deliver high quality education in the context of dramatic cuts in school funding and alongside a significant reduction in the Education Services Grant (ESG)

In this context some local authorities have begun to consider establishing alternative structures to support schools, and Barnsley is one of them!

The NUT believes that this will not avoid any of the problems associated with MATs described in the booklet below.

Furthermore this may result in more local schools being at risk of being forced into MATs by pushing the local authority further in the direction of being declare ‘unviable’.

Don’t ‘jump before being pushed’

The Local Government Association sent a letter to Labour Councillors with a clear message

“The first job we have as Labour Councillors is to get the message out that these changes are not inevitable and governing bodies should not rush to convert”

So Barnsley LABOUR Council have you been doing this?

Barnsley NUT will be handing the document below to our local Councillors today and we seek a meeting to discuss concerns raised by our members regarding MATs.


Forced Academisation by Stealth

Barnsley Council Forced Academisation By Stealth

On the 23rd of June the NUT met with Barnsley Council and were presented with documents proposing to “manage the transition from a mixed system of academy trust and maintained schools, to a predominantly academised system”

Whilst Barnsley NUT is committed to supporting and protecting its members who currently work in academies, we utterly oppose the Government’s aim that all schools in England should become academies by 2022. We also oppose the plan to ‘force’ all schools deemed to be ‘unviable’ or ‘underperforming’ to become academies.

Some members in Barnsley are dismayed that our Labour run council should also be seeking to facilitate the Government’s aim and we believe that instead Barnsley Council should be playing a key role in defending all maintained schools.

By acting NOW the council can identify schools that may be at risk of ‘coasting’ or ‘underperforming’ and support these schools to take action so they can demonstrate the required improvements without the need for an academy order.

Click the link below to read the full details of Barnsley Councils Proposals:


We want to hear your thoughts – have your say – this is your chance to influence the NUT’s response to Barnsley Council. To arrange for us to visit your school please contact us ASAP. The next meeting with Barnsley Council is on Wednesday 12th October.

Please complete our survey or contact us by email to tell us your opinions and we will share these at our next meeting with the council which is set for the 12th October 2016.