Staff at a Solihull secondary school are threatening strike action in a dispute over a planned change of status.
Support staff, which include catering, admin staff, teaching assistants and cleaners, at Lyndon School Humanities College in Daylesford Road, Solihull, are being balloted on industrial action.
Action could include a strike, by the GMB union, which has declared a collective grievance over the school’s plans to become a Trust school next month.
Stuart Richards, GMB organiser for the West Midlands, said: “As a Trust school, Lyndon will continue to receive its funding from the local authority but ownership of land and buildings will be transferred to the trust and staff will be transferred so that they will be employed by the governing body.
“With school support staff, we face a huge problem because trust status takes our members away from collective bargaining. Effectively, the school would become their employer and decide their pay and conditions.”
He added: “Our members believe there are significant risks for the future of the school and don’t think it should lose its community status.”
The Solihull branch of the National Union of Teachers has also lodged a dispute with the school.
Lyndon’s chairman of governors, Prof Derek Sheldon, said they had “deliberated carefully and responsibly” on seeking to acquire trust status from January 1. He said that following wide consultation with staff and trade union representatives, the “overwhelming opinion” was in favour with only a “minority” of staff opposed to the idea.
Prof Sheldon added: “As during any change, there are concerns among some of the staff at our school, but the governing body believe they have addressed these fully and fairly at each stage.”
Head teacher Selina Westwood said their goal was to act in the best interests of pupils.