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GMB Calls for WCAT Job Guarantees and Investigation into Alleged Nepotism and Bullying

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

 

Union urges TUC congress to push for Government review into failing trust.

GMB, the union for teaching assistants, is calling for an investigation into alleged nepotism and bullying at Wakefield City Academies Trust schools.

The union is also demand job guarantees for all staff working at the failing trust.

GMB seconded an emergency motion to TUC congress today which also calls of a proper review into what went wrong at the failing academy chain. [1]

During the speech, GMB delegate Allison Morrell highlighted:

· Management wages spiralling upwards as investment in the schools dropped away

· Trust CEO Mike Ramsey procuring an IT system for the schools from a tech company owned by his daughter costing just under £300k in the year up to August 2016 - with more spent since

 · A CEO earning £25,000 a month salary and £46,101 for being an Executive Advisor to the Trust

· A contract for administrative support services again awarded to Mike Ramsay’s daughter worth £123k

Last week - the first week of term - WCAT announced would no longer be able to run its 21 schools. [2]

The trust said it was unable to "facilitate the rapid improvement our academies need, and our students deserve".

Allison Morrell, GMB, Delegate,  told TUC Congress today:

“Right across the 21 schools in the Trust there was a culture of bullying and harassment and failure to apply agreed policies and consequently an increase in staff sickness absence including mental health.

“GMB support staff and teaching unions have been ringing alarm bells now for some time and here we are - along with the pupils and families  -left to pick up the pieces.

“Congress, “WCAT is not the first to fail and it won’t be the last.

“Justine Greening says it is important to take swift action to have the school rebrokered now.

“We say this is not good enough. Our schools must be brought back to local democratic control, or these disasters will keep on coming.

“Our children and their future deserve better.

“Let’s hope this is the beginning of the end."

ENDS

Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at press.office@gmb.org.uk?

Notes to editors:

[1] Emergency Motion to TUC Congress

E3 Academies in crisis

Congress is shocked at last Friday’s news that the Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) is abandoning its 21 schools, leaving pupils and staff not knowing their future as the Department for Education (DfE) searches for an alternative sponsor. This is the largest multi-academy trust so far to collapse, only two years after being chosen as one of five “top performing” academy sponsors given a £5m handout to take over more schools

Congress calls on the government to hold immediate talks with unions representing staff at WCAT and with the relevant local authorities to guarantee the continued employment of all staff, and to address the impact of this collapse on the communities affected.

Congress calls for a thorough and urgent independent review into the failures at the WCAT, the regulation and accountability of academy sponsors and the role of the government in preventing future failures in the academies sector.

Congress calls on the General Council to intensify its campaign to ensure all schools in receipt of public funding are subject to effective democratic control, scrutiny and public accountability

[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-41198403

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