The Tories want to snatch away a decent education from millions of working class children.
They have floated plans to end some children’s academic education at 14 and push them into vocational training courses at technical schools.
In effect this would stop students they call “less able” from getting a broad education and instead trap them into training for manual jobs.
For those students who will remain in school, the Tories want them to be in academies.
Academies are government-funded, privately-run schools that allow unaccountable businesses to control education.
More than 11 percent of secondary schools are already academies. The Tories want to expand this massively.
They use the rhetoric of freedom and choice to drive through the privatisation of schools. But people are fighting back.
Teachers at a Derbyshire school struck on Tuesday of this week against plans to turn the school into an academy.
They were set to strike again on Thursday of this week. The teachers at Ecclesbourne School in Duffield are members of the NASUWT union.
Governors are set to meet on Monday of next week and could decide to back a change to academy status.
The teachers say this threatens their terms and conditions.
Meanwhile, strikes could also hit Derbyshire’s biggest school—John Port in Etwall—over the same issue. Governors at John Port, which teaches more than 2,000 students, have applied to the government to become an academy.
They have begun a formal consultation on the plans, which ends on 2 February. Union reps say they may ballot members for strikes against the plans.
Derbyshire teachers have a history of successful strikes against academies. In January 2009, the council withdrew plans to turn Sinfin community school into an academy after NASUWT members took seven days of strikes and helped build a huge public campaign.
Workers have the power to beat back academies.
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The Anti Academies Alliance will hold its AGM on Saturday of this week. Go to www.antiacademies.org.uk for details.
The Campaign for State Education (Case) is also holding a meeting on Saturday 29 January: www.campaignforstateeducation.org.uk
Activists have called a day of action in protest at councils’ plans to close up to 800 libraries will hold “read-ins” on 5 February: www.alangibbons.net