"No to academies", chanted 50 teachers, parents and supporters outside Avenue Primary School in east London on 20 February. This is their longest strike yet - three days - as the campaign to save the school from academy status heats up.
They will be joined by two other schools on strike for the same reason in Newham on 22 February. This will be followed by a protest outside the next council meeting on 26 February, calling on their support in opposition to academies.
Currently the teachers and parents are fighting at Avenue for there to be a parents' ballot on academies and the Socialist Party has raised locally the idea of a referendum in the borough on whether schools should become academies or not.
But when parents and teachers gathered on the picket line, academy status wasn't their only complaint. The day before there was no clean water in the school for the duration of day. For six-and-a-half hours primary school pupils went without water.
"If this is happening now, imagine what will happen when it becomes an academy", shouted one parent, "there are shops down the road, they could have bought water".
Parents feel the head teacher has a lot of explaining to do. These are the people who the community is meant to have faith in to do what's best for students' education. These are the people fighting for the school to become an academy but they can't even ensure the students have clean water to drink.
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