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Union fears Enfield school staff could face job cuts
THE department for education has warned two Enfield schools on track to become academies they could lose funding if they sign an agreement with unions over pay and conditions for staff.
In a letter to headteachers at Kingsmead School, in Southbury Road, and Cuckoo Hall Primary, in Cuckoo Hall Lane, the Parliamentary under-secretary of state advised schools there was no requirement for them to promise to retain national pay and conditions of support staff.
It includes all non-teaching roles including teaching assistants, mentors, admin staff and technical support.
Lord Hill added: "The existence of any such agreement will be a significant factor in the assessment the Secretary of State will make before deciding whether or not to enter into a funding agreement for an Academy."
His letter has been met with fury from the GMB, the union for school support staff, which described Lord Hill's warning as "shameful" and urged its members to get in touch in order to protect their jobs and avoid pay cuts.
Avril Chambers, the GMB national lead organiser for schools support staff, said headteachers could also face legal action if they did not consult with staff.
She said: "This is shameful and the advice should be ignored by all schools. In our opinion, this advice from Lord Hill is misleading at best and unlawful at worst.
"We are advising staff in schools that have or are becoming academies to contact GMB immediately so that the union can advise staff on what they need to do next to protect their position. Staff have a legal right to maintain their current pay, hours of work and terms and conditions."
Kingsmead and Cuckoo Hall were approved to apply for academy status last year after being considered "outstanding" schools by Ofsted.