Teaching strikes Tues 1st Oct

The NUT and NASUWT unions in the East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside and the Eastern regions are on strike on Tuesday October 1.

The strikes are over pay, pensions, workload and conditions. If you live or work near a primary or secondary school do your best to show your solidarity.


Getting in the way of Gove

Later this year, teachers in the NUT and NASUWT will take part in a series of one-day strikes against attacks on their pay, pensions and conditions, not to mention a raft of pro-market, anti-pupil polices flying out from the DfE. Until now, the universally hated Mr Gove has been able to swan about the country opening academies, praising private involvement in education and pontificating on the future of the curriculum. Last week however, Mr Gove ran into a small obstacle.

No forced academies- Connaught school on strike in Leyton

On Tuesday morning (16th Oct) strike action by National Union of Teachers (NUT) members closed Connaught School for Girls in Leytonstone. Several NLSF members who live locally to the school, as well as local parents and students joined the picket.
The teachers took strike action in protest at plans to turn the secondary school into an academy. Across the borough, primary and secondary schools are being academised/privatised and plans are underway for a freeschool to be set up in Walthamstow.
The teachers at Connaught are preparing for further strike action and may be out again next week on Wednesday.

Education round up 27 July 2012

(Un)Qualified teachers wanted.
While the eyes of most people, both critical and uncritical, are drawn to the Olympics, secretary of state for Education, Michael Gove, has introduced possibly his most significant and destructive piece of reform.

Academies no longer need to employ qualified teachers to teach lessons. Gove heralds this as 'freedom' for academies to employ 'the best for the job'. So while trying to raise the profile of teaching, he's doing the exact opposite. But this is a smokescreen. This is nothing to do with profile, or improving education, or getting 'the best for the job'. It has everything to do with driving down pay and conditions.

Education round up 12 July 2012

Bournville School on strike next week. Worthing High out this week. Noel Park School, Haringey out.

Bournville School Strike
Bournville School in south Birmingham is set to face two days of strike action next week over plans to convert the school to 'foundation' school status. Workers at the school had successfully defeated plans to force an academy conversion less than a year ago after threats of joint strike action and a community campaign.

The latest action is set for Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th July in "protest at the failure of the school to enter into meaningful consultation regarding proposed conversion to Foundation status and in protest at the change of employer with resultant threat to terms and conditions."

Choccy's Education round-up 2 July 2012

A few regional stories wound me up this week. Great Yarmouth academy long days. Waltham Forest strike ballot. Islington academy axes free meals. University pulls unpaid job advertisement.


"The devil will make work for idle hands to do."

The idle hands in question? PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN. Luckily brains-of-britain Gove, has a plan to keep these TERRORS off the streets so they don't grow up to be nasty ASBOs or some thing terrible like that. Keep them in school until 6pm everyday. Every fucking day. 6pm. Every day. Not punishment. Not detention. Just a normal school day proposed at Great Yarmouth's Greenacre Primary School under its academy plans.

Downhills School on strike

Downhills School in Tottenham were on strike today (22nd May) against plans to turn it into an academy, despite a 91% vote against it by parents. After a picket line of about 40 people in the morning, teachers, kids, parents and community supporters had a picnic. At lunchtime the support workers, who are balloting for strike action at the moment, came to the park to support the strike.
As Downhills kids ran and tumbled around in the glorious sunshine, I talked to teaching assistants and asked them how long they had been at the school. “You could say forty years, because I went to Downhills myself!” one told me. Others told me how their children attended Downhills and said that the school is not failing the kids.

Academy workplace issues - a worker's voice

In Jan 2011 my school became an academy, as set out by the government that outstanding schools could become academies. As a staff we were duped into this. There was some consultation with unions, but as previous headships broke the unions in the school with their “divide and rule” regime, consultation was limited. We were sold the lie that we were now free of the thrall of the LEA, HMI inspections and, due to an outstanding status, free from OFTSED inspections for at least 5 years. This has not been the case , in fact being taken from LEA control now subjects us to far more stringent work practices, where union guidelines are not applicable or at the very least are bent to suit the requirements of management. Also being out of LEA control means if the school hits any financial difficulties, it will be teaching staff who suffer.

Fighting Academies: Bournville School, Birmingham

Bournville School, Birmingham. Stories of successful attempts at defeating academy coversions seem to be thin on the ground at the moment, with over 1,200 new or conversion academy schools being created since Conservatives/LibDems came into power, so it was inspiring in autumn 2011 to hear that staff and parents at Bournville School in Birmingham defeated governors plans to convert the school into an academy. After a forceful parent campaign against the conversion, and the threat of united strike action by NASUWT and NUT the school's governors shelved plans to convert to an Academy, for at least a year. This means the fight is not yet over though this was a huge victory and an example to all other schools fighting academy conversions.

Fighting Academies: Oasis Community Learning

Oasis Community Learning, a christian educational trust currently running 14 academies in England, is typical of the theological style of industrial relations promoted by the cheerleaders of the Academy sector. Back in November, in the middle of the school year, 13 teachers at its Media City (Salford) Academy were sacked, sparking 5 days of strikes as well as a walk out by year 10 and 11 pupils in the run up to christmas. Ultimately, the campaign to defend the teachers did not win.