NEU Statement, 8 May 2018: Avenue School (Newham) Governors Withdraw Their Plans To Convert To Academy Status

NEU STATEMENT, 8 MAY 2018: AVENUE SCHOOL (NEWHAM) GOVERNORS WITHDRAW THEIR PLANS TO CONVERT TO ACADEMY STATUS

The Governing Body of Avenue Primary School has confirmed that, at its meeting last Thursday, it took a decision NOT to move forward with plans to convert the school to academy status.

Martin Powell-Davies, London Regional Secretary, who spoke to the Governors’ meeting, said:

“Staff and parents will be delighted to hear that, after a campaign that included nineteen days of strike action to oppose academy transfer, members of the National Education Union can now end their strikes, knowing that Avenue Primary is going to remain a community school.

The NEU would like to thank Avenue Governors for reaching this decision and all in the school community who took part in the vibrant campaign to oppose Avenue becoming an academy.

The lively rallies on the school gates on strike days, always supported by dozens of local parents, left Governors in no doubt that the campaign showed no signs of weakening. The determination and unity across the school community shown at Avenue School over the last six months of action will be an inspiration to other campaigns organising to stop academisation in their schools.

Unity was forged around the demand for a binding ballot of staff and parents to decide on academy transfer. The NEU offered to halt its strikes if such a ballot was agreed and proposed that meetings were held, and information circulated in community languages, so that parents could fully participate in deciding on the future of their school. Those demands should now be taken up by parents & staff of other schools to ensure genuine consultation over academisation.

Governors at Avenue must have known that the mounting evidence exposing academisation would mean a genuine debate could only reach one conclusion – to oppose transfer – and simply decided to withdraw their plans altogether. The energy and unity shown by both staff and parents in the campaign can now help Avenue School to further support children’s education. If there is any future attempt to revisit academisation, then the opposition will be even stronger!

The National Education Union made clear that we opposed academisation at Avenue because it would damage education and transfer the School to an unaccountable Multi Academy Trust. As a community school, parents will continue to be able to call on an elected Council for support.

The Avenue campaign helped convince Newham councillors when they voted in February to oppose academisation and to support the call for staff and parental ballots. The NEU looks forward to working with Newham’s newly elected Mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, in developing plans to support Newham schools, including through developing partnership arrangements that avoid the unnecessary educational risk and fragmentation that academisation inflicts on local schooling.

The NEU congratulates its members on their successful action. Their campaign, alongside others being organised across London, is turning the tide of public opinion against academisation.”

MARTIN POWELL-DAVIES
London Regional Secretary

National Education Union, NUT Section
Christine Blower Centre
90 Point Pleasant
London SW18 1PP
Tel: 020 8477 1234
Email: london@neu.org.uk

NEU Logo. Black letters stating National Education Union plus pale blue polygons radiating out from centre. All on white background. Alongside NUT logo with white letters on dark blue background.

NEU Statement
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ACAS Dispute – Please Support Pickets

PCS members working as conciliators at ACAS began action short of strike on Wednesday 25 April which will include no obligation to undertake any reactive or proactive work on fast-track early conciliation cases or employment tribunal cases.

The dispute centres on imposed changes on staff, including the downgrading of conciliation work and increases to already heavy workloads. Conciliator members are trying to manage the unmanageable as a result of a restructure programme has been running for two years.

The planned action also includes a one-day strike on 11 May and a 2-day strike on 6 and 7 June.

How you can show your support

Send messages of support to leeds@pcs.org.uk
Support pickets on the 11 May and 6 and 7 June
1. Acas East of England – Forest Heath District Council Offices, College Heath Road, Mildenhall, Suffolk IP28 7EY.

2. Acas London – Euston Tower, 286 Euston Road, London, NW1 3JJ.

3. Acas South East – Civic Offices, 1st Floor, Harlington Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 4AE.

Message from:
Sharon Leslie
PCS London, South East and Eastern Regional Secretary
Campaigns and Parliamentary Department
Tel: 020 7924 2727 ext. 2138
(Received via TUC)

Opposing Academies In Newham – story so far

Victories against academisation in Newham
NEU members and parents campaigning to stop a
Newham primary school from becoming an academy
have achieved a historic victory. It seemed that
governors at Keir Hardie Primary School would vote
for conversion on 19 April but, in the last week of
term before Easter, parents were sent a letter saying
that the governing body would not proceed with
academisation. The decision came after a series of
strikes by NEU members and strong and united
opposition from parents. During the strikes
previously non-union support staff and supply
teachers joined the NEU and membership tripled. Continue reading Opposing Academies In Newham – story so far

NEU Newham Action 1st to 3rd May

3 Strike days in each of 2 schools facing academisation.

Avenue Primary School /Newham
(Reason: Transfer of Employer)
Tuesday 1 May
Wednesday 2 May
Thursday 3 May

Messages of support to Iain Hale
IAIN.HALE@neu.org.uk

The Cumberland School/Newham
(Reason: Transfer of Employer)
Tuesday 1 May
Wednesday 2 May
Thursday 3 May

Messages of support to Iain Hale
IAIN.HALE@neu.org.uk

Members can send pictures to:
Image of email address for contacts at NTA
We will publish them on the website.

More action at Cumberland School.

A very big “Thank you” to Meaden and his mum Alicia for their support on the picket line.

Thanks to all the others who are supporting us.

Ken Loach tweets support for strikers at Cumberland & Avenue Schools

Cumberland School and Avenue School NEU members oppose the academisation of their schools. They are striking over the change of employer that would result from academisation.

Ken Loach tweets: