Socialist Worker

Bolton’s growing revolt against academies

by Derek Coleman
Issue No. 2107

Members of the NUT teachers’ union shut down the Withins School in Bolton on Wednesday of last week by striking over plans to transfer the school out of local authority control and turn it into an academy.

There is a growing revolt over the plans to hand schools to private sponsors across Bolton.

Students at Withins School walked out in protest at the plans on Tuesday of last week.

Despite the threat of expulsion, they stood at the locked school gates with posters opposing handing over their school to private business.

A strike ballot of NUT members at nearby Hayward School over plans to close it and turn it into an academy is due to begin on Friday of this week.

The Unison union also began a strike ballot of its members in both schools last week.

The ATL teachers’ union in Withins School has held an informal survey of its members, which found that a majority supported taking action against the academy plans.

The GMB union has also indicated that it supports taking action to stop the academies.

A meeting organised by the NUT, Unison and the GMB launched a campaign against the academy plans in Bolton earlier this month.

The meeting passed a unanimous resolution.

This stated, “This meeting fully supports the actions of the trades unions in their fight to remain employees of the council.

“We agree to set up a broad-based campaign to include parents, governors trade unions, pupils, councillors, MPs and members of the community – the purpose of which is to prevent private business taking education out of the hands of local authorities.

“Our schools are not for sale.”

Send messages of support to NUT members at Withins School to [email protected] and Unison members at the school to [email protected]

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Tue 24 Jun 2008, 18:51 BST
Issue No. 2107
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