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Posted on 15 December 2010 at 22:33 GMT

The Royal Wedding? No, a Royal strike!

Clitheroe Royal Grammar School (Lancashire) was totally closed on 15 December by a solid strike of NUT and NAS/UWT members in protest at the head's plans for an academy, probably the first ever strike against Gove's new 'expressway' academies.

Lancashire Socialist Party

Over 30 staff, reps from neighbouring schools and union activists held a static demo on the ring road to hoots of support from local traffic.

Clitheroe is a market town in the relatively affluent Ribble Valley. But even here, union opposition to academies, which will lead to worsening of terms and conditions in the future, find a strong echo.

Unison members at the school remember that their pay went down under grant-maintained status, and the lesson is not lost on teachers.

The school is due to become an academy by 1st January and nothing can stop that now. But teachers have put down a valuable marker that the new status cannot be used to rip up previous agreements and that they have a strong workplace organisation.

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