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:

triangleAvenue School strikers and parents win judicial review

triangleNEU conference: Teachers vote to strike over pay and workload

triangleCampaign against academies boosted by victories

triangleStrikers and parents rally again in Newham against academies

triangleHated Blairite mayor ousted: now fight for a no-cuts Newham!

Strike:

triangleBromley library workers win strike campaign

triangleUCU members vote to end pensions dispute

triangleBromley libraries - indefinite strike action continues

triangleFCC Wilmington refuse workers' strike in hull stands firm

School:

triangleChild poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts

triangleMoving look at school students' many perspectives on sexism

triangleMore staff join strike action at Barnsley school

Parents:

triangleSouthampton asks "What will you do to stop education cuts?"

triangleSchool strikes against academy management

Union:

triangleUsdaw conference 2018: time for new era of fighting trade unionism

East London:

triangleWalthamstow Save Our Square protesters thrown out of city hall for demanding a say

National Education Union:

triangleTeachers vote to ballot for strike to win 5% raise

Education:

triangleGoldsmiths students occupy and protest in support of UCU strikers

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

22/4/18

Bromley

Bromley library workers win strike campaign

18/4/18

UCU

UCU members vote to end pensions dispute

18/4/18

Usdaw

Usdaw conference 2018: time for new era of fighting trade unionism

18/4/18

Leeds

Victorious Fearnville Fields campaigners thank the Socialist

18/4/18

Hull

Hull says no to war, no to austerity

18/4/18

The Socialist

The Socialist - a fighting, campaigning, workers' paper

18/4/18

Socialist Party

Building fund: 150,000 milestone smashed!

18/4/18

Fighting Fund

Give us your change (and more) to fight for system change!

18/4/18

Scotland

Workers' victory over anti-union Scottish council

18/4/18

Newham

Avenue School strikers and parents win judicial review

18/4/18

PCS

Vote for a left, fighting PCS leadership

18/4/18

PCS

PCS rejects Acas offer - further strikes announced

18/4/18

Bromley

Bromley libraries - indefinite strike action continues

18/4/18

Butterfields

Butterfields tenants join TUSC campaign

13/4/18

Cuts

Fighting the cuts to women's services

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 07769 611 320

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


April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999