The University of Chester Academies Trust (UCAT) runs schools in Northwich, Warrington, Liverpool, Chester and Ellesmere Port. It has been identified as the worst performing of all the large academy chains in the country by the Department for Education. Their data shows that UCAT is running poor schools and that they are significantly worse than the national average when it comes to speed of improvement.
Now, UNISON – the union for school support staff, and the teaching unions have been given notice of plans by the UCAT chain to make a large number of staff redundant. Over a hundred jobs are currently under threat.
Keith Bradley, UNISON North West Lead Officer for Schools, said:
“UCAT-sponsored schools have been highlighted for their ‘unacceptably low’ performance. Cuts in staffing levels can only further worsen the quality of education that these schools provide.
“Support staff and teachers in UCAT schools will be worried about their futures and we will be supporting our members through this difficult time.
“Unfortunately this is symptomatic of the undemocratic Academy and Free Schools model. Our children’s education should not be put in the hands of organisations who fail to provide quality schools.
“We need the politicians to sit up and listen before further damage is done to our education system, and reverse the tide of privatisation which clearly doesn’t work.
“If we are not careful we will soon have shiny expensive publicly funded new buildings left vacant without pupils or anyone to teach them.”
UCAT-sponsored schools in the North West are:
University of Chester Academy, Northwich
University Primary Academy, Weaverham
University Cathedral Free School, Chester
University Church of England Academy, Ellesmere Port
University Academy Warrington
University Academy Liverpool (Dingle)