Socialist Worker

Anti-academies: Schools fight is an inspiration

by Sue Caldwell
Issue No. 2235

The Anti Academies Alliance (AAA) annual general meeting last weekend was lifted by the experience of the student movement. One teacher described it as “Inspiring”.

Around 60 people attended, including sixth formers. The meeting came alive when teachers, parents and students talked about their campaigns.

Anna from Hackney in east London described a campaign that culminated in a vote for strikes and forced governors to halt their plans.

Barnet school students said they had collected 200 signatures, despite being told by senior school staff to stop.

The meeting also opposed free schools—new private schools funded by the public.

Jane from south London, said that a library and community centre are being closed to pay for a £13 million free school catering for richer families.

AAA national secretary Alasdair Smith urged people to join the TUC demonstration in London on 26 March to be part of the revolt against the Tories.

The government wants to use academies to drive down workers’ pay, conditions and union rights.

The Department for Education says that signing up to a TUC recognition agreement could be, “one of the factors that leads to the school not being granted academy status”. Ministers add that flexibility on pay is a “key freedom” that academies offer.

Around 40 school students protested outside a school in Thetford, Norfolk, on Tuesday of last week. They are angry at plans by two academies to divide pupils into two sites by age. Students will have to travel for longer.

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Tue 18 Jan 2011, 18:01 GMT
Issue No. 2235
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