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14 January 2015

Sedgehill School besieged by privateers

Martin Powell-Davies, Secretary, Lewisham National Union of Teachers

In Lewisham, we will be keeping up our fight to oppose academy plans that could threaten the break-up of local authority schooling right across the borough. Our campaign has already shown the strength of opposition to academisation.

On 9 January, the Department for Education (DfE) finally gave the go-ahead to Lewisham's Labour council to remove the governors of Sedgehill School and replace them with their chosen appointees. However, the huge campaign to support the school (see issue 838) has still had an effect. The original plan to replace the existing head with management from Bethnal Green Academy has had to be shelved.


The school and its community did not want this new Interim Executive Board (IEB). If the DfE have their way, the IEB could be a step towards turning Sedgehill into an academy. Any attempt to impose academisation would be met with outrage from the teachers, parents and students who protested so vociferously in December.

In an indicative ballot, National Union of Teachers (NUT) members at Sedgehill - and four other schools - voted by an overwhelming majority to show their willingness to strike against any such change in their employment status. As we have heard no indication that this will not be the case, the NUT has given notice that a formal ballot for strike action will now follow.

IEB, Council and DfE - take note!