Peacehaven Community School Staff begin 7 days of industrial action as concerns surface of extreme gender pay gap at Swale Academies Trust

National Education Union at Peacehaven Community School members have begun a further campaign of industrial action in an effort to stop an academy conversion that is being imposed on the local community.

The members of the union are taking 7 more days strike action against the plans to hand the school to the Swale Academy Trust, an amount of industrial action unprecedented in an East Sussex School.

Over 300 parents signed postcards in one morning to be sent directly to Nigel Enever, County Councillor for Peacehaven asking him to support the demand, already supported by Town Councillors and MPs that the community should have a say in the future of the school.

The local Authority continue to cite a more than 2 year old consultation with 10 responses as showing the support of the school community.

More concerns are surfacing about the Swale Academy Trust including the fact that women in the organisation are only paid 52p for every £1 a man earns pay, one of the worst records for schools in the country.

Phil Clarke, Secretary of the Lewes Eastbourne and Wealden NEU said “The casual dismissal our member’s reported when Jon Whitcombe, CEO of the Swale Trust was asked about the huge gender pay gap at the organisation is just another concern we have.

“As he sits on over £200,000 per year we would hope he would have some plan to address the fact women in his trust are paid 52p for every £1 men earn.”

Local parent Clare Swain said “The fact that the Councillors at East Sussex County Council are not even replying to the union is disgraceful.

“No one talking to local people today could doubt that they overwhelmingly want such important decisions about their school to be taken by local governors not those imposed from County Hall.

“This is all that is being asked for to suspend the strikes and it’s exactly what happens with other schools”

The next industrial action is scheduled in for the 26/6, 27/6, 2/7, 3/7, 4/7.