Socialist Worker

Norlington school strike solid against Trust plans

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2178

Norlington teachers protesting at the Institute of Education

Norlington teachers protesting at the Institute of Education

Teachers at Norlington School in Waltham Forest, east London, struck for three days last week against plans to merge their school with George Mitchell School to form a trust, which would remove the school from local authority control.

The action, by members in the NUT union, closed the school from Tuesday to Thursday.

“The strike went really well and was absolutely solid,” Rinaldo Frezzato, branch secretary of Waltham Forest NUT, told Socialist Worker.

“Workers from the Unison and UCU unions came to the picket line, as well as teachers from other schools and representatives from Waltham Forest trades council.

“My experience in the past is that morale tends to flag as disputes go on. But in this case people are getting more solid and more militant.”

The strikers met with UCU members from the Institute of Education (IoE), which is earmarked to run the planned trust, on Wednesday of last week.

The unions issued a joint statement that reads, “Our unions are opposed to the government’s policy of converting community schools into privately run academies and trusts.”

It called on the IoE to withdraw from sponsorship of the proposed trust.

Governors at Norlington School and George Mitchell School are to meet to decide on whether to go ahead with the plans. The campaign against the trust will hold lobbies of the meetings.

“Under the trust plans the governing body will effectively become the employer—and people have no confidence in the governing body,” said Rinaldo.

“There is a real mood among NUT members to continue the campaign against the trust—regardless of what the governors decide—and we are discussing ways of doing that.”

Lobby Norlington School governors’ meeting 6pm Wednesday 18 November and George Mitchell School governors’ meeting 6pm, Wednesday 25 November.

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Article information

Tue 17 Nov 2009, 17:15 GMT
Issue No. 2178
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