Socialist Worker

Council review will not halt Tamworth academy campaign

Issue No. 2159

After a string of strikes and street protests, Staffordshire county council leaders were last week forced to meet union reps from schools in Tamworth threatened with academy status.

Some teachers had hoped the election of a new council might put an end to the plans but that now seems unlikely.

NASUWT national executive member for Stafford, Richard Sidley, told Socialist Worker, “The council has said that it is prepared to review the proposals.

“But it is not willing to suspend its plans while the review takes place, because that might threaten the funding available under the Building Schools for the Future programme.

“At the meeting I asked what the point of the review was if the council is so fearful of upsetting the government and the potential sponsor.

“We hope to use the national union to put more pressure on the council but will not be calling any further strike action before the end of term.

“However, if the review comes to nothing, we may have to restart action in the new academic year.”

Leaders of the local NUT will meet with their members this week to discuss the council’s proposal.

Tamworth NUT rep, Rob Kelsall, told Socialist Worker, “We do not feel that there was anything put forward at the meeting that goes anywhere near resolving the dispute.

“We haven’t ruled out taking further strike action during this term.”

Although teachers in both unions have decided to continue a work-to-rule, further strike action this term would have put more pressure on the council and helped to keep up the momentum of the campaign.


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Tue 7 Jul 2009, 18:50 BST
Issue No. 2159
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