Faulty and broken equipment and crumbling buildings force ATL to ballot members in Whitehaven Academy, Cumbria

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Press release
09 December 2016 by ATL Media Office
Mouldy carpets, leaking roofs, no heating, unsafe cookers and broken computers must be addressed by Whitehaven Academy sponsors the Bright Tribe Trust to avoid strike action by ATL members.

The deteriorating state of the school has created a health hazard for staff and pupils and is also impacting on pupils’ education, according to ATL’s regional official for Cumbria and Isle of Man, Stuart Moules.

Stuart Moules said: “For too long, staff have been pointing out to the Bright Tribe Trust that the crumbling building and faulty and broken equipment means we can’t teach properly. We’re also concerned that without immediate attention, the state of the school is risking children’s health and staff safety.

“We don’t want to take action but we need to protect ourselves and the pupils in our care. The staff are passionate and committed and it is abundantly clear they want the best for their students. But our concerns have been ignored for too long.

“Bright Tribe Trust has to act quickly to avoid this strike and to start talking to the school, its staff and the wider community about how these serious issues will be addressed.”

ATL’s 39 members in the school will be balloted over their working conditions which have deteriorated over the last few three years. The staff have also written to the Secretary of State for Education, The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, outlining their concerns around the sponsor.

ATL served notice of a ballot to the school on 8 December, with the ballot opening 16 December, and closing on 6 January 2017. The NUT will be following a similar timetable.

•    The Whitehaven Academy (formerly Whitehaven School) is a comprehensive co-educational secondary school with academy status, located in Whitehaven, in west Cumbria, England. The school was established in 1984. The school converted to academy status in January 2014, sponsored by the Bright Tribe Trust.

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