Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/587/7529
The Socialist 7 July 2009 |
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Strike against BSF proposals
Since May, NUT members in Tamworth have led a campaign against the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) proposals for schools in their area.
Dylan Murphy, NUT rep, Honley High School Kirklees, personal capacity
These proposals include the closure of one high school, for it to be replaced by an academy and the closure of all sixth forms in Tamworth. The academy would be run by Landeau Forte Trust which would also take over the entire sixth form provision within Tamworth.
The campaign against this attempt to privatise local education has been widely supported by parents, community groups and other teacher unions. NUT members took strike action on 17 and 18 June.
On 18 June over 200 supporters of the campaign turned up to lobby the first meeting of the newly formed Tory council. Succumbing to public pressure the Tory leader of the council announced that the new council would carry out a review of the BSF proposals for Tamworth.
Not satisfied with this, NUT members at the five schools affected planned further strike action for 30 June. This strike action was suspended following the council's offer of talks to review the BSF proposals.
The strike action by Tamworth NUT members should inspire other teachers to step up the campaign against attempts to set up academies and trust schools.
We should not accept the argument that there is nothing we can do about the government's BSF agenda and its attempt to privatise education.
The Tamworth experience shows the need to build a united campaign of teachers, parents and community groups. Local strike action across a group of schools can work and should be used by NUT members across the country to defeat the government's privatisation juggernaut.