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Union concerns over Shelley College fallout.

TEACHING unions have welcomed the climbdown by Shelley College over expansion plans.

But all three main unions have voiced concern at apparent attacks on the professionalism of teachers during the controversial debate.

Now they have warned that it will take time to rebuild trust after comments made during the exchanges. Shelley College had announced proposals to take in Year 7 pupils - putting the middle schools in Scissett and Kirkburton at risk.

But the governors withdrew the plan after massive opposition.

Hazel Danson, speaking on behalf of the teaching unions ATL, NUT and UNISON, said they welcomed that move.

"We warmly congratulate the success of the Keep Shelley Pyramid campaign which demonstrated the magnitude of the support there is for the current system.

"We know our members who faced the real possibility of school closures were overwhelmed by the support and confidence that parents and the community have shown in them."

Gill Collins, secretary of the Kirklees Branch of ATL, said one aspect of the issue remains unreconciled.

"What we were not prepared for was the totally unprecedented attack on the professional integrity of colleagues in the middle schools, which was uncovered when one version of the letter accompanying the college's proposal booklet, came to light. Such an attack, based on questionable data and totally without foundation, is completely unacceptable."

The unions have pledged they will continue working with all schools to ensure that the Shelley Pyramid continues to thrive.
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Nov 29, 2012
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