3 schools co-ordinated strike action against academisation

Opposing academies. Day of action. Photo of strikers outside their school.On Thursday 22nd February NEU members (NUT section) were out on strike at three Newham schools. Parents, teachers, and support staff received a solidarity message from Jeremy Corbyn, “I send my solidarity to you today on the Newham Schools strike against academisation of Keir Hardie, Avenue and Cumberland schools. Our schools should be accountable to parents, staff, and the whole community – and with Labour’s National Education Service, they will be. Well done to parents, staff and their union taking a stand today for our children. They must be listened to”.

Opposing academies. Day of action. Photo of strikers outside their school.With Avenue on their seventh strike day, Cumberland on their third, and Keir Hardie taking their first strike, there is a momentum to the borough-wide campaign against academisation. The campaign is now focussed on the demand for binding parent and staff ballots at each school considering academisation. At Keir Hardie’s pre-strike day meeting at ACAS the NEU reps won agreement for an emergency governing body to consider this demand. The union is confident that where there is time to put the case, and commitment to an open and honest ballot, parents and staff will vote to keep schools with the local authority.

Opposing academies. Day of action. Photo of strikers meeting.At the 80-strong strike rally Louise Cuffaro the newly elected NEU Newham secretary led with the resolute message, ‘Unity is the way to win’. Shebbida, one of a very organised vocal group of Avenue parents, referring to their legal case against unfair consultation said, ‘We are fighting for our school and our community’. Reps from all three schools spoke, showing the hard work and the long journey leading to the strike action needed to make their voices heard. Opposing academies. Day of action. Photo of strikers outside their school.Martin Powell-Davies Regional Officer NEU (NUT section) said academies used two ways to save money, ‘by worsening staff terms and conditions and by changing the students, keeping only those who would get good results’. Dominic Byrne, Outer London Executive member, gave an assurance that the union would back members wanting to take action against academisation ‘all the way, until the other side blinked’. Seychil, a parent at Keir Hardie and staff member at Avenue, moved everyone with her appeal to, ‘Save our schools for our children’.

Opposing academies. Day of action. Photo of strikers outside their school.Union meetings, letters to governing bodies, lobbies of governing body meetings, leafletting at school gates, and parent/carers meetings continue to be organised, spreading to other schools in the firing line. Please get in touch with the union officers email <assistant.secrtary.nta@gmail.com> if you have any concerns about the situation at your school.

A number of Newham schools have resisted the pressures from the DfE, the Regional Schools Commission, the private consultants and above all the council, and have decided against academisation.

A protest march to East Ham Town Hall is planned for Monday Feb 26th 5pm. A motion opposing academisation will be put and delegates, including the union branch secretary and Avenue parents, will speak. Parents and staff from all schools, and all members of the community who want to defend council services from the failed model of academisation, outsourcing and privatisation are invited.

Poster for march against academisation.
March Against Academisation.

(Post revised 14h05, 26/02/2018)

Action to oppose academisation

There are coordinated strikes across Newham today, 22 February, to oppose academisation, plus a lobby of the council on 26 February.

Opposition to outsourcing and privatisation is growing —workers have the power to win.
At Avenue school, strikers held a two-day strike recently, an escalation from previous one-day strikes.
Cumberland School NEU members also held a strike recently.
NEU members are balloting for strikes at Shaftesbury School and Keir Hardie schools in the borough.

Opposing academisation: Second strike day at Cumberland

On the second strike day at Cumberland there was a great turnout in the freezing cold. The school was only open to Year 11. In light of the continuing news of failing outsourcing, privatisation and academies the strikers felt stronger than ever that they were doing the right thing fighting to keep Cumberland with the local authority.

Strikers oppose academisation of Cumberland School. Photo of strikers outside school.
Strikers oppose academisation of Cumberland School.

Opposing Academies Leaflet in 8 Languages

Opposing Academies Leaflet. Parents demand a ballot.

Unite in the fight to remain a local authority school.

Here is double-sided leaflet given out by Avenue parents/carers on the days leading up to the strike.

An amazing example of what can be done, using their skills and determination to get the message out to include all parents.

The key information in 8 languages.

Download [ ▼]