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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 May 2016

Teachers force Tory academies u-turn

Teachers marching through London against Tory attacks on education

Teachers marching through London against Tory attacks on education   (Click to enlarge)

James Kerr, National Union of Teachers rep (personal capacity)

Tory education secretary Nicky Morgan's zig-zag over academies is a testament to the campaign work spearheaded by the National Union of Teachers (NUT). But the threat to teachers' pay and conditions still stands.

Morgan boasted there was "no reverse gear" when it came to forced academisation of schools. On 6 May, that was proven to be incorrect. She announced that not all schools would immediately be forced to become academies.

This is a victory for the NUT. Undoubtedly the threat of industrial action in defence of teachers' pay and conditions was a key part of this.

It is also another sign of the weakness and division within the Tory party. Many MPs and council leaders, especially in the Tory shires, balked at the idea of 'their good and outstanding schools' being taken away from them. This should be welcomed.

But Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told the BBC on 7 May that "it's not a u-turn on academies, that is still the aim. We want every school to be an academy in the next five years." The more astute Tory strategists see this only as a tactical retreat. They hope to sneak academies through one by one instead.

And the Department for Education has explained that regional education commissioners can still force individual schools or authorities into academy status. The criteria are 'underperformance', or a 'critical mass' of academised schools in the authority.

As NUT general secretary Christine Blower put it in the Huffington Post: "This is the third major education u-turn by government... in a month."

But she also rightly said that "the threat to state education in England has not gone away... The NUT's job will not be complete until we have finally lifted the threat to teachers' jobs, pay and conditions."

There is still no protection for teachers' pay and conditions, and our ballot for national strike action must continue. Let's press the advantage, build for a 'yes' vote to strike action, and force the Tories back.

What we are striking for

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In The Socialist 11 May 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories retreat: now drive them out!

No to the bosses' EU, yes to international solidarity

Teachers force Tory academies u-turn

TUSC announces '20-city tour': the socialist case against the EU

Independent inquiry into Orgreave now!

Blair played matchmaker between Saudi oil barons and Chinese dictators

What we saw

Them & Us


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

John Mann's Israel hypocrisy

Council estate exhibition shows the full picture

Film review: Eddie the Eagle

The Socialist postbag


Elections 2016

Elections showed anger and fragmentation

TUSC election campaigns show opposition to cuts

Over 1,700 votes for TUSC in Warrington

Scotland: SNP wins but new openings for socialist alternative emerge

Wales: no change and all change

Northern Ireland elections: positive moves against sectarian politics

Over 1,800 votes for TUSC candidate in Bristol

Third anti-cuts councillor elected in Southampton

TUSC increases vote in Coventry by 25%

Fourth place for TUSC in Liverpool


Workplace news and analysis

Blacklisted workers win millions in legal victory

Government blinks first in junior doctors' dispute

Trade Union Bill becomes law

Prison officers walk out over health and safety

Potential new steel bosses refuse to take on pensions

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Let kids be kids: children 'strike' against Sats tests

What way forward for Tamil rights?

Save Paignton Hospital campaign launched

May Day demo says: no cuts to childrens' centres!

Support for junior doctors at campaign stalls


International socialist news and analysis

Greek general strike: more needed to defeat austerity

How to trump Donald


 

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