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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 May 2011

Teachers strike and parents picket at Shorefields

Dave Walsh

Strike action by the NUT and NASUWT unions closed Shorefields secondary school in Dingle, Liverpool for the second time in a month on 11 May. Teaching staff fear that their pay terms and conditions would come under attack once the school opted out of local authority control. Pupils and parents, equally concerned about these plans, joined them on the picket line.

Dingle is one of Liverpool's most deprived areas but Shorefields produces consistently good academic results. Its latest Ofsted report said it had outstanding features.

Most pupils there are from black and ethnic minority backgrounds but community activists fear that once it becomes an academy it will stop providing education based on the community's needs and will concentrate its efforts on academic results and bus in pupils from around the city.

The school's headteacher hasn't concerned herself with the community's feelings, failing to consult and providing them with a fait accompli. And just in case the board of governors opposed her plans, she saw to it that they voted themselves out of existence, replacing them with trustees appointed by her and not answerable to the parents.

A community-based committee has already held two public meetings. A third is planned on 23 May and a lobby of the town hall is planned on 24 May.

The lobby should demand that the Labour controlled council should call in the proposals, which would give campaigners more time to block this privatisation. Liverpool Trades Council has actively supported the Shorefields campaign and invited them to attend their next meeting.

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The difference a union makes


 

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