Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/26633

Posted on 21 December 2017 at 11:24 GMT

Newham: school strike solid as bosses barge through on academy status

Pickets at Avenue School, 14.12.17, photo by James Ivens

Pickets at Avenue School, 14.12.17, photo by James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

James Ivens, East London Socialist Party

Avenue School was in near-total shutdown on 14 December, its second strike day in opposition to becoming a quasi-privatised 'academy'.

Dozens of teachers, learning support assistants (LSAs), parents and children filled the pavement outside the east London primary. The energy of strikers and campaigners shows no sign of flagging.

National Education Union (NEU) rep Louise Cuffaro, a member of the Socialist Party, is leading the action. NEU members in Newham have just elected her their new branch secretary.

Pickets at Avenue School, 14.12.17, photo by James Ivens

Pickets at Avenue School, 14.12.17, photo by James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

Louise had been at recent negotiations with management. "We got the LSAs in the room, we won that. Management hadn't wanted them in there because they don't have negotiating rights. But we pointed out that there's not anything to negotiate on here. They want the school to become an academy. We don't. There's no middle ground."

Louise also reported that staff at other schools in the borough have contacted her. They are discussing joining the fight against forced academisation.

Lobby of the Avenue School governors' meeting, 14.12.17, photo by James Ivens

Lobby of the Avenue School governors' meeting, 14.12.17, photo by James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

That evening staff and parents lobbied a meeting of the school's governors. A union delegation led by Louise went in to argue on behalf of the staff and parents. A consultation of staff and parents found well over 100 oppose academisation. The number in favour was in single digits.

Consultants for the 'Eko' academy trust claimed only a minority oppose academisation - because the turnout was under 50%! "This is a travesty of democracy," said Louise.

Lobby of the Avenue School governors' meeting, 14.12.17, photo by James Ivens

Lobby of the Avenue School governors' meeting, 14.12.17, photo by James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

Opposition from parents and staff is overwhelming. Campaigners are demanding that governors put the decision to a ballot. But management seems determined to push the new status through.

A consultant for the academy chain even took this attitude to the demonstration outside the meeting. After peaceful protesters surrounded his enormous car, they witnessed him barging it into one of them. After the protester crumpled to the ground, the consultant got out and laughed, seeming to think the whole affair was a joke.

The scene after an academy consultant apparently barged his car into a peaceful protester, photo by James Ivens

The scene after an academy consultant apparently barged his car into a peaceful protester, photo by James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

Action will continue in the new year.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 21 December 2017 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Newham:

trianglePacked Newham meeting against academies

triangleNewham academy strikes spread to Cumberland school

triangleNewham anti-academies strikes

triangleSchool staff strike against privatisation

triangleThem and us

Strike:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleRMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

triangleHackney school cleaners strike

triangleHome care workers to strike

School:

triangleSweden: School strike against deportations

triangleEqual sick pay rights for staff at Charlton Park Academy

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

Parents:

triangleTwo in five 'right to buy' homes now for let

triangleTeachers strike in Sheffield

Union:

triangleFerrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages

East London:

triangleHeating scandal on east London estate

National Education Union:

triangleTeacher recruitment falls by a third - cut workload, not funding

Education:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Fighting for free education

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

22/1/18

Sudan

Sudan: Free Mohamed Satti

22/1/18

London

Women rally defiantly

22/1/18

Obituary

Red Mary - a Force of Nature

17/1/18

Women

Socialist Party women's meeting brings together members to share experiences

17/1/18

Newham

Packed Newham meeting against academies

17/1/18

Liverpool

Lobby pushes Liverpool council to oppose privatisation

17/1/18

Barking

Heating scandal on east London estate

17/1/18

Policing

Undercover policing legal challenge

17/1/18

Woolwich

No to the Woolwich monster block

17/1/18

Union

Workplace news in brief

17/1/18

Union

PCS union 2018 elections - nominate the left slate for a continued fighting leadership

17/1/18

Hackney

Hackney school cleaners strike

17/1/18

RMT

RMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

17/1/18

Yorkshire

Ferrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages

17/1/18

Cuts

We must fight all council cuts!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle22 Jan Women rally defiantly

triangle22 Jan Red Mary - a Force of Nature

triangle17 Jan Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

triangle17 Jan NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

triangle17 Jan We must fight all council cuts!

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

More ...

triangle23 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

triangle23 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangle24 Jan Caerphilly Socialist Party: The Carillion scandal

triangle24 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Carillion collapse - Watershed moment for public services

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2