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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 March 2016

Stop academies onslaught

Unions must organise to defend education

Jane Nellist, NUT executive member (personal capacity)

A seething anger permeated throughout school staffrooms when the Tory government announced their intention that all schools in England must become academies and join Multi Academy Trusts (MAT).

Calls of 'strike!' by school staff echoed around the country with the realisation of what this means for schools: attacks on national pay and conditions and the democratic accountability of schools.

There is a growing body of evidence showing that MATs are not making the claimed improvements to schools. In a letter to Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan, the chief inspector of schools Michael Wilshaw (no friend of teachers) raised concerns about scrutiny of MATs, large cash reserves not being spent on pupils and high levels of pay for chief executives!

Profit

It was always this government's intention to seek a way to privatise education and enable schools to be run for profit, just as is happening in the health service.

You only have to look at other countries like the US, to see that this would be a catastrophe and must be stopped.

Protests have quickly been arranged in towns and cities to resist these attacks. A petition calling for a public inquiry and referendum reached 100,000 signatures in just four days.

Unions and trades councils need to mobilise and organise public meetings to explain the consequences of these attacks and build support to resist them.

The Tories are in more disarray and teachers are looking for Nicky Morgan to go the way of Iain Duncan Smith! The war over the EU and party leadership has exposed weaknesses that trade unions must take advantage of.

Education unions need to build the confidence of their members with a mass national demonstration early next term.

The TUC should be mobilising and reaching out to our communities to defend our schools, NHS and public services.

All three teaching unions are meeting over Easter for their annual conferences. There must be a united approach to fight this attack, with support staff as well.

Solid strike

The NUT conference must agree a strategy for national action to defend our schools. The solid sixth form colleges strike demonstrated an appetite to fight back on the funding cuts.

For the sake of our children and communities, these plans can be defeated. The Tories can be pushed back if we act decisively now.

See page 5 for a feature on academies.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 23 March 2016:


What we think

Budget cuts resignation: Tories split - strike now!


Budget 2016

Them & Us - budget special

Budget 2016: fight for socialist policies to reverse cuts!


Socialist Party annual congress

Socialist Party national congress 2016


Socialist Party news and analysis

Brussels attacks: don't let the terrorists and racists divide us

'Living wage' lie: fight for 10 now!


Workplace news and analysis

Junior doctors to escalate strike action

Aramark workers striking for the living wage

Tube drivers shut down Piccadilly Line over bullying

Workplace news in brief


Academies feature

Uniting to defeat John Roan academy plans

Academy failed me and other children with disabilities


Socialist history

BSE crisis - the madness of the profit system

Five years ago: 750,000 march against cuts


Socialist readers' comments

"As a carer, I am expected to pick up the slack"

Letters


 

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Related links:

Academies:

triangleTeachers: On the front line, in their own words

triangleStrikes are how to fight for state education

triangleAnti-academy strikes growing

triangleNo to academisation of east London schools!

triangleAnti-academy strike action in Newham

Unions:

triangleEffective testing and properly funded safety plan needed

triangleHow far can the Starmer counter-revolution go?

triangle

Equity union conference calls for radical change - now lead a fight!

triangleNapo kickstarts fight against pay freeze

Education:

triangleSchools: 'We have to fight for everything'

triangleMartin Powell-Davies for NEU DGS: "We need to use our collective strength"

Schools:

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: For a safe return to schools

triangleAct together to oppose unsafe numbers and rising workload

School:

triangleLife in lockdown - being home from school when you're poor is hard

Teachers:

triangleDetermined strikers at Leaways school

NUT:

triangle100 years since the foundation of the Communist Party of Great Britain

Colleges:

triangleFurther education workers win pay rise in Wales

Children:

triangleUNICEF feeds children in the UK for the first time

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