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:

triangleNewham housing repairs workers announce strike dates

triangleOppose big business's sphere of influence!

triangleEast London bin workers call 12-day strike over wage grades

triangleNeglected Newham tenants demand action

triangleNewham gas workers' strike threat

Strike:

triangleEarth Strike

trianglePro-democracy protests continue to rage

triangleBradford: All-out action to defeat backdoor NHS privatisation

triangleHealth workers strike against 2,000 loss of pay

School:

triangleIlford: parents and teachers unite against school cuts

triangleJuly climate strikes: link up with the workers' movement

triangleHuge workload, low pay and unpaid hours - a day in the life of a teaching assistant

Parents:

triangleProtest against Send education funding cuts

triangleDay of action against cuts to special needs education

Union:

triangleWorkers reject 'Martini' contract

East London:

triangleAfter the fire: fight for facilities for all

National Education Union:

triangleCouncil seeks to take budget deficit out on school staff and pupils

Education:

triangleLondon: Students and young workers' assembly

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

21/8/19

Liverpool

Liverpool RMT seafarers protest against super-exploitation

20/8/19

Asda

Workers reject 'Martini' contract

16/8/19

Kashmir

Anger continues to mount over imposition of direct rule

14/8/19

Lincolnshire

Health workers strike against 2,000 loss of pay

14/8/19

Leeds

Leeds estate residents push back private development

14/8/19

Socialist Party Scotland

Dundee: young workers meet

14/8/19

Worcester

Hereford and Worcester: stop the fire cuts!

14/8/19

Far right

Far right seen off at Oxford Circus

14/8/19

Occupation

Harland and Wolff occupation continues - renationalise to save the shipyard

14/8/19

Bradford

Bradford: All-out action to defeat backdoor NHS privatisation

14/8/19

Airport

Summer of airline industry strikes against low pay and worsening conditions

14/8/19

Walthamstow

After the fire: fight for facilities for all

14/8/19

Retail

Fight back against the retail bosses!

12/8/19

Equity

Equity: reject UK Theatre's pay cut deal

6/8/19

Hull

Hull: Karro Food meat processors strike against poverty pay

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999