The Socialist 12 July 2003
We’re Fighting For A Living Wage
Vauxhall school: Privatisers Bring In Agency Staff
SECURITY GUARDS were hired recently to evict teachers from the premises of Vauxhall school special autistic unit. The private company that runs the school with public money, BBI, said there was a shortage of money and sacked 35 teachers and workers who had built up extremely important relationships with the autistic students.
Rob MacDonald, Lambeth Socialist Party
Unbelievably in this sensitive environment they hired security to escort workers off the premises, giving no time for teachers to say goodbye to students.
Then the following week they could 'afford' to hire only 13 agency staff, who have less rights and no important relationship with the students. The levels of staff will be lower than the local authorities have paid for.
The workers haven't been paid for June - one worker told the socialist they believe their national insurance hasn't been paid for some time. The staff are employed without proper contracts and teachers are not protected by national agreements as fellow workers in LEA schools would have been.
The school was funded by public money from many London boroughs including Southwark, Lewisham, Wandsworth, Southwark, Ealing and Waltham Forest, but the owner Bill Goodyear and his 'advisors' (none with any experience of running schools) entirely controlled the budget.
There was no voluntary management group, no input from parents and no community involvement in the school.
The workers intend to picket the school until the end of term. Southwark have already pulled the plug on BBI and the headteacher has moved to an alternative school. The other boroughs should not fund BBI any more.
The sacking of dedicated workers, the risk to the safety of our most needy youngsters, the flagrant disregard of normal organisation practices and the profiting from school crises is what happens when privatisation takes over schools.
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