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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 March 2017

Forest Hill school in Lewisham fights back

Forest Hill school picket line 21 March photo Lewisham Socialist Party

Forest Hill school picket line 21 March photo Lewisham Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

A Lewisham teacher

Education cuts loom large all over the country. Many schools are already facing deep cuts and the fightback has begun.

Forest Hill School in Lewisham, south London, has a 1.3 million deficit and is facing significant cuts, including potentially 15 teacher redundancies on top of support staff who have already gone.

National Union of Teachers members had their first day of strike action on 21 March. As one picket line banner read, it's 'not our deficit'. Why should students and staff suffer?

We took the demands to the council, which has so far washed its hands of the situation, despite it being a local authority school.

Demands include the local Labour council taking responsibility for the redundancy payments, not saddling the school with it; extending and spreading the licensed deficit to give the school more time and to look at the private finance initiative contract which is sucking 1 million a year from the school coffers. A campaign involving parents, students and staff has been launched with more lobbies, two days of strike action and a march to throw itself into in the next few weeks.

A victory at Forest Hill would give education campaigners all over the country confidence that the Tories' decimation of education can be pushed back.

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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 29 March 2017:


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Related links:

Lewisham:

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triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Young and fighting for a future in London

triangleJustice for Blessing Olusegun

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triangleNational Education Union needs a socialist, fighting deputy general secretary

triangleAction marks the way for a national student movement for free education

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triangleRMT: Militant industrial and political strategy must be fought for

triangleCan the 'Preston model' beat the cuts?

Strike:

triangleNorwich City Council workers vote for strike action over broken promises on pay and conditions

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