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  • Holland Park School Parent Collective

NEU letter to HPS GB following strike 1

Updated: May 30, 2022

Below is the full statement by the NEU sent to the Holland Park School Board of Governors on 20th May 2022, following the NEU Teachers' Strike on thr 18th May 2022.

Key points are

  • 70 members of staff in the NEU took strike action because the governors felt unable to satisfy requests that they, along with many parents and students, have been making

  • Union members are asking governors to:

    • expand the community consultation for the school’s future as part of a multi-academy trust to include a wider selection of potential partners

    • offer an open, transparent vote to the whole school community to help inform their final recommendation

    • agree that if they take into account the informed opinion of people who'll be most affected when they make their decision, it will be good for the school’s long-term stability and growth

  • We think this will help create a culture where open, meaningful consultation, with the opportunity to offer opinion on real choices is a feature of the school’s governance in the years to come

  • The governors have stated that a change to their current approach is ‘not possible’

  • They have also been clear they don’t have to offer any stakeholder engagement

  • But… they chose to do a kind of engagement anyway, so the NEU believes that governors can adjust the process so the whole school community hears from a wider selection of candidates. We conclude they just don't want to do this.

  • The Notice to Improve gave no mandate or time limit to have HPS absorbed into a larger academy group

  • Union members are willing to be flexible where they can in regards to their demands

  • Everyone would prefer to come to an agreement with the governors than have to strike again

  • The NEU is asking the governors to agree to their requests so they can stop any further strike action

NEU’s communication to Governing Body of Holland Park School: 20.05.22

NEU members at Holland Park regret that the governing body felt unable to satisfy the requests being made not just by a significant majority of staff, but also by many parents and students.

Our members seek to arrive at an agreement with you that will obviate the need for further industrial action, and we are prepared to offer what flexibility we can within the scope of the resolution we have passed.

We note that you state there is no statutory obligation on the governing body to undertake any stakeholder engagement. Evidently, however, you exercised your power to choose to do so. We therefore question your assertion that it is 'not possible' to adjust the scope of the consultation to enable the whole school community to hear from a wider range of candidates than the one you selected. This is particularly the case given that the Notice to Improve presented no mandate or time limit for the irrevocable absorption of Holland Park into a larger academy group.

Can the governing body accept that your decision will be in the interests of the school’s long-term stability and growth if you reach it in the context of the informed opinion of the people who will be left to live with its consequences? The governing body do by now, we assume, appreciate the strength of feeling on the part of those people that this is the case.

We therefore ask again that you exercise the power you have to broaden the scope of your consultation with the school community to include other candidate partners. By doing so we believe you will not only act in the best interests of those involved in the school today, but will establish a culture where open, meaningful consultation with the opportunity to offer opinion on real choices is a feature of the school’s governance in the years to come. This would also be consistent with what you had agreed to do in any event in correspondence.

With regard to our request that you subject any decision to a binding vote of parties, we ask that you offer an open indicative and transparent vote to all constituencies, so that the opinion of the wider school community can inform the final recommendation you make to the Department for Education. Otherwise any consultation process has little value.

With your agreement to this approach, we believe we will be able to communicate your intentions to members with good grounds to suspend the forthcoming industrial action.

Michael Wilmott

NEU Officer.

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