The National Education Union opposes the creation of academies but supports the teachers working in academies.
NEU NUT Section – Academies webpage
The wording of amendment 2.1 passed by Newham council on Monday 26th Feb, both Robin Wales and mayoral contender Rokshana Fayaz voting for it, reads:
‘This council resolves to call on all governing bodies who are considering academisation to halt all steps towards academisation until and unless there has been a binding parental and staff ballot, conducted by an impartial body such as the Electoral reform Society. If the ballot votes No to acdemisation then that outcome must be accepted and implemented.’
The NEU will be sending the letter attached to all chairs of governors, all heads, and all NEU reps. All councillors have been emailed asking them to implement this resolution.
NEU Newham letter
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We have heard back from Cllr Abdul Muhit to see if a postponement of the academisation of Nelson, Vicarge, Elmhurst and Gallions can be halted.
Please get in touch if you want support at your school to oppose moves to academise.
Many thanks to all the NEU members, neighbouring NEU branch representatives, local parents, and community supporters who participated in the march. Our thanks also go to local council members who listened to our views.
(The poster from the march, below)
3 schools co-ordinated strike action against academisation
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”.
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.
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. 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’.
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 <email@example.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.
Opposing Academies Leaflet in 8 Languages
Parents demand a ballot.
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.
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See below for older posts
More inspiring activity from avenue strike day starring avenue kids, parents, teachers and Kevin Courtney.
Avenue School NEU members on strike
Solid strike action at Avenue Primary School with over 50 NEU members taking action to protect their conditions that are under attack through the planned academy conversion. The strike was well supported by parents and the local community. Many parents are opposed to the academy conversion and are angry the school governors do not listen to their views and are refusing to hold a ballot of all parents.
Louise, School rep and NEU Newham Officer, said this is just the start and the fight continues”.
Kevin Courtney, NEU Joint General Secretary, attended the picket line and spoke to members and parents.
Further strike dates have been announced.
NATIONAL EDUCATION UNION
NUT Section – LONDON REGION
Over 50 staff at Avenue Primary School, Meanley Road, E12 6AR in Manor Park, Newham will be on strike on Wednesday, 29th November. Teachers, learning support assistants and office staff will all walk out as part of the campaign to save their school from being taken over by the EKO Multi-Academy Trust……….
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Avenue parents group have called their own parent consultation meeting re the proposed academisation.
Tuesday 28th November
Methodist Church Hall
Opposing Academy Transfers
- cannot be justified educationally
- do threaten staff terms and conditions
- can be stopped – NEU read leaflet
NEU Leaflet on Academy Transfers
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NEU representative speaks out against MAT
Michael Gavan from The National Education Union speaks about the dangers of Multi Academy Trusts.
Film by CY TV channel on YouTube (published 12/10/2017)
Thanks to CY TV for their YouTube clip
CY Film Productions
Lobby of Governing Body at Avenue School
National Education Union teachers, Newham NUT Section, from Avenue School lobbied their governors against academisation on Thursday Oct 19th
Report from Opposing Academisation Meeting for parents and teachers of Avenue Primary School 13/10/2017
Avenue Primary members held a very successful meeting Friday 13th October with many new parents responding to the parents’ action group’s leaflet attending. Ward councillor Salim Patel was one of three councillors there. Salim pledged full support and said that he will contact the parent governors and suggested that parents should demand that the parent governors leave Thursday’s governors meeting to show solidarity with the parents. The press are coming to that lobby and Stephen Timms MP will meet the parents in the first week of November. Parents have material and cardboard and paints and agreed to have a placard/banner making session on Saturday morning. A parent, LSA and a teacher took questions and answered in Bengali and Urdu.
After a successful school union group meeting the BIG MEET was a great meeting!
Report from Meeting 12/10/2017: Opposing Academisation – Hallsville, Scott Wilkie, Keir Hardie
Opposing Academisation – meeting for parents/teachers from 3 schools under imminent threat: Hallsville, Scott Wilkie and Keir Hardie.
Over 50 adults, and a lot of kids, attended the meeting this evening (12/10/2017) at St. Luke’s Community Hall E16. There were teachers from 2 of the schools, staff from all 3 schools and many parents from all 3 schools, chiefly Hallsville. Also, Cllr Rokshana Fayaz whose constituency covers Keir Hardie and Scott Wilkie schools, and who has written opposing academisation.
Report from meeting 12/10/2017
Comment from parent following “Opposing Academies” meeting 12/10/2017
‘As a parent and active campaigner I want to say one thing to all. It might look difficult but this campaign is not impossible as together we can and will make a difference. It is not just about me or my children but my community and my future generations to come. Let our silence be not taken as weakness.
When you look at the entire picture it Is not a very comforting sight and future but quite frightening at what the repercussions of these MATS and academies are.
Teachers and Union, we back you all the way and as one parent said it is not just about supporting and backing this fight but about any community any proposed Academy’.
Aysha Bakhi, Hallsville parent
Report from Meeting 05/10/2017: Stop Newham Schools Becoming Academies
The Newham NUT section of the NEU, aware of the push to academisation progressing in many schools decided to call a public meeting, ‘STOP Newham Schools becoming Academies’. Over 50 teachers, education staff, parents, governors, and 3 Labour councillors attended, thirteen schools were represented. It was vibrant, brilliant and useful.
Stephan Simms, Ealing NUT/NEU secretary, reported on successful anti-acdemisation campaigns there. Vicki Baskerville, a parent at Snaresbrook when that school was in Special Measures and targeted for academisation, gave inspiration and concrete advice about how to win. Michael Gavan, a London region NEU organiser, who has been key in building the union groups needed, answered definitively the non-arguments of the pro-academy lobby.
A cohort came from Avenue School and Louise Cuffaro, the NUT/NEU rep, showed how they built their campaign: school union meetings, large parents’ meetings, lobbying governors, and now heading for an indicative ballot so they will be ready for action if need be.
The essentials were finding out what is happening from governors minutes, leafleting the parents, parents organising themselves, and union members organising ready to take industrial action.
It was pointed out that DfE data shows 77% of primary schools nationally have stayed with their local authorities. In neighbouring boroughs the councils are encouraging schools to stay. Unfortunately, in Newham, over 20 schools have become academies. But 28 are ‘in process’. Nearly all Newham schools are good or outstanding. There is no need for them to change and transfer control to Trustees who, in Newham MATs as elsewhere, are bankers, brokers, property developers and the like.
For more info please contact: Iain Hale <firstname.lastname@example.org> or Miriam Scharf 07959468226