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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 January 2018

Newham academy strikes spread to Cumberland school

Teachers striking against academisation at Cumberland School, Newham, 9.1.17, photo by James Ivens

Teachers striking against academisation at Cumberland School, Newham, 9.1.17, photo by James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

Ian Pattison, East London Socialist Party

"Why would we want more privatisation?!" This is how the National Education Union (NEU) rep at Cumberland school in Newham, East London, closed the picket line meeting to stop the school becoming an academy. An enormous number of striking teachers and teaching assistants greeted pupils. A group of students shouted "good luck, good luck" and "fight the good fight".

Speakers were crowding to say a few words. One of them gave full support for the strike from the NEU national executive. Martin Powell-Davies, NEU London regional secretary, reported from unhelpful talks between management and the trade unions and quashed myths that academies improve education. One striking teacher said that if they don't have breakfast before they start work, they can come out at the end of the day realising they haven't had anything to drink or eat at all, because the workload is so heavy.

Newham NUT branch banner at the Cumberland School strike, 9.1.17, photo by James Ivens

Newham NUT branch banner at the Cumberland School strike, 9.1.17, photo by James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

But Cumberland staff should be very confident they can win. A spate of Newham schools took strike action late last year. There's a growing mood in the borough that education must not be siphoned out of local control. A protest outside the next full council meeting was discussed. Its been reported that Labour councillors have voted in support of academies at local CLP meetings.

Newham is in the middle of the selecting councillors for the May 3rd council elections. If a new round of pro-academy Blairite councillors are selected, then campaigners may feel there is no choice but to stand against them in May to stop the tide of academies and austerity in Newham.

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In The Socialist 10 January 2018:


What we think

Sustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS


International socialist news and analysis

Movement challenges Iranian regime

Sweden: School strike against deportations


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's impotence

Bigot Toby Young quits - now scrap the new uni regulator driving privatisation

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

Them & Us


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Amy Murphy for Usdaw president - vote for a fighting and democratic union

Newham academy strikes spread to Cumberland school

UCU members balloting for action on pension cuts


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Hoxton: "Stop this unwanted development"

Closure of Nottingham unit shows dismantling of NHS


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Art can help expose sexual harassment

Debate: should tower blocks form part of socialist housing policy?

The Socialist Inbox


 

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