Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/673/12144
Coventry action against academies grows
Sunara Begum, Coventry Socialist Party
A third trade union, Unison, has now joined the battle to defend comprehensive education against the privatisation of our education via 'academies' in Coventry.
Wednesday 25 May saw a meeting packed with almost 100 people, from school students to parents and teachers. Unison members at Tile Hill Wood school then walked out at lunchtime on 26 and 27 May. They were joined by NUT and NASUWT, as well as Youth Fight for Jobs activists and Socialist Party members on the picket lines.
Tile Hill Wood school's food and textiles technician said: "It's important to stick together in the fight against academies, and I'm on strike against academies for the same reasons as the teachers." She also said academies would mean "uncertainty for pupils and lead to dwindling numbers of pupils and more redundancies".
School students from both Woodlands and Tile Hill Wood, some of whom were preparing for exams, came to support the pickets as the lunch hour was ending. They gave a great boost of confidence and support to the striking teachers as they spoke of how, at this early stage of the campaign, students are fighting back alongside their teachers.
Petitions against academies have been signed outside classrooms. A Facebook page, ran by school and college students, is called Coventry Youth Against Academies. School pupils have refused to go into lessons in support of their teachers on strike.
There has also been a protest against academies in the school by school students. They were inspired by the anti-fees and save EMA protests that took place last autumn, including protests in Coventry that were organised by young members of the Socialist Party and Youth Fight for Jobs and Education.
Tile Hill Wood school has now seen its fifth action against academies. With a third union joining the action, and the possibility of other schools striking over academies, the fight will continue.
Please send emails to the chair of governors at Tile Hill Wood, expressing support for staff action: email@example.com
To get involved with the Coventry campaign against academies contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join the Coventry Youth Against Academies group on Facebook.
In The Socialist 1 June 2011:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
National Shop Stewards Network
Socialist Party NHS campaigning
Socialist Party workplace news
Youth fight for jobs and education
Socialist Party feature