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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 February 2016

Big victory at Small Heath School against academy attack

Clive Walder, Birmingham Socialist Party

The third week of strike action in the Small Heath School dispute in Birmingham due to run from 2 to 4 February was called off after the sponsors of the proposed academy withdrew their interest on 29 January.

The scale of this victory can't be underestimated. Many schools in Birmingham have been turned into academies with no organised resistance from staff or parents and many schools thought that there was nothing that could be done to stop them.

Small Heath has proved them wrong; not only was the NUT teachers' union solid but members of other education unions, NASUWT and ATL, also came out on some of the strike days.

There is no doubt that the academy sponsors threw the towel in because they don't want to deal with a militant and campaigning union organisation.

The strike was well organised from day one, with a high level of participation from NUT members. Crucially, a number of meetings for parents were organised which helped ensure that the majority of the parents supported the strike.

Quality education

This victory also shows that those behind academies are out to turn education into a business and that a union branch that campaigns to defend quality education and against bullying management and cuts to staffing is something they don't want.

The proposal to get rid of 71 out of 200 staff has also been scrapped.

The suspension of NUT rep Simon O'Hara has still not been lifted (there is no doubt Simon was suspended to try to break the strike action, as reported in issue 886) and this is now the subject of a separate dispute, with NUT members unanimously voting to strike on 9-11, 16-18 and 23-25 February.

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In The Socialist 10 February 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

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Tories bankrupting NHS

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Lawyers defeat Tories' unjust legal aid cuts

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Birmingham: socialists kicked out of Momentum

Labour right wing blocks call to debate budget cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

No-cuts strategy needed to save 25,000 council jobs

Local government union backs no-cuts council budgets

Big victory at Small Heath School against academy attack

Cuts to premiums mean no 'rise' in store for Tesco workers

Leicester taxi dispute: Labour's rank hypocrisy

South London: Library workers strike to save services

Continued action in crane drivers' pay dispute

Workplace news in brief


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International socialist news and analysis

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International news in brief


 

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triangleBrighton Socialist Party: Material deprivation and the impact on schools

NASUWT:

triangleAcademy strike - standing up to 'bullying' management forces climbdown

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