Swindon Council waters down forced academy plan - but it's still not enough, says GMB union

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GMB remains vigilant about potential job losses as Swindon Borough Council pushes ahead with plans to force all schools into MATs.

GMB, the leading education union for school support staff, cautiously welcomes Swindon Borough Councils watering down of proposals to force schools to join Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs). 

But the union remains vigilant the plan ultimately remains the same. 

Swindon Borough Council has updated cabinet papers watering down their original proposal to force all schools, including local authority and stand alone Academies to join MATs. 

The paper now states “officers would recommend that Cabinet authorise officers to carry out further investigations with schools and the Regional School Commissioner.” [1] 

Andy Newman, GMB Branch Secretary said:  

“GMB is clear that although this paper has now been watered down following GMB pressure on the council, we cannot be complacent.  

Swindon Borough Council still intend to move all schools to MATs and GMB continue to be concerned about job losses and the impact on staff and pupils.  

We will continue to fight any proposals which will cut school staff roles or impact on staff terms and conditions.” 


Media enquiries: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes to Editors:

[1] Amended cabinet paper can be found here: (Public Pack)Additional Information Pack (2) Agenda Supplement for Cabinet, 13/10/2021 18:00 (