Teachers at Otley school strike over academy plan

Teachers from Prince Henry's Grammar School  march through Otley.
Teachers from Prince Henry's Grammar School march through Otley.
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TEACHERS at a West Yorkshire school have gone on strike in protest at plans to turn it into an academy.

Staff at Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley staged a one-day strike today as part of six days of action over fears the change could affect their pay and conditions.

But head teacher Janet Sheriff said there was “no intention whatsoever” of changing terms of employment for staff.

The change to an academy would see funding go direct to the school rather than via Leeds City Council.

Prince Henry’s Grammar School was originally set up by King James I in 1607 and is one of the oldest schools in Yorkshire.

Last month, 10 school governors voted for the change with nine against. The unions said two thirds of the teachers were opposed to the move.

Today the school was closed to Year 9, 10, 11 and Sixth Form students but open to Year 7 and Year 8 pupils.

James Babington, a teacher at the school for five years, said staff hoped their stand could lead to further consultation and the changes being postponed.

He added: “Not one member of staff stood out here wants to be on strike or not teaching but this is what we feel is necessary.”

A two-day strike is expected to start next Wednesday, with a three-day strike planned from Tuesday the following week.