GMB Union, which represents thousands of school support staff across the UK, has today slammed Astrea Academy Trust following its announcement that Hillside Primary School in Doncaster is closing to save money.
The GMB Union say key workers are furious to find out their school is closing, with union representatives given only a few hours' notice of consultation meetings to table the closure.
Deanne Ferguson, GMB Organiser, said:
“At a time when frontline key worker staff are doing all they can to support children, parents, and their local communities in the face of a global pandemic, Astrea Academy Trust gave trade union reps only a few hours' notice to inform staff that the school will face closure.”
When union representatives met with the school late last night, they were presented with information that highlighted the school was already at stage five of the DfE process for school closures, leaving only one more stage left for consultation.
The Trust provided data to show a decline in pupil numbers. However, unions say this is information that has been available to the Trust for the past three years, so why now?
Continuing, Ms Ferguson said:
"It's clear the Trust has been talking about the school closure for months behind closed doors and only approached the unions when a decision had already been made.
“This is a kick in the teeth for hard working frontline key workers and makes a mockery of the consultation process.
“As we know, schools are the backbone of our communities and play a vital role to support vulnerable children throughout the pandemic, with many providing food parcels and education for our children.
"The GMB Union will fight tooth and nail to support its members and campaign for the school to remain open to provide vital support to children and parents.
"Now is not the time to close Hillside Primary and leave a community in disarray when already faced with challenging times."
The GMB Union are holding urgent meetings with members, counsellors and MP's and will update on this developing issue.