Socialist Worker

Student strike shuts Villiers High School in protest at teacher Amerjit Virdee's sacking

Issue No. 2238

Over 300 school students protested outside Villiers High School in Southall, west London, on Tuesday of this week and forced it to close.

They were demanding the reinstatement of their teacher and head of Maths, Amerjit Virdee.

Amerjit was sacked on Monday evening by governors, following a disciplinary hearing. An appeal hearing will take place next month.

Most of the students were year 10 and 11 students aged between 14 and 16. Younger students joined them, some as young as 12.

They chanted, “We want Virdee!”

One student said, “We met this morning and have been out all day. More people joined us at around 11am.

“We’ll keep coming out until Virdee is reinstated.”

Another said that students had organised a petition in support of Amerjit—and that hundreds of students and parents had signed it.

They said the headteacher ignored the petition. “Mr Virdee is amazing,” said another student. “He’s one of the nicest teachers here. Enough is enough.”

Students say that one pupil has already been threatened with expulsion after the protests.

Amerjit has taught at the school for 28 years and is the NUT union rep.

Teachers, parents and students see his sacking as a blatant attempt to victimise a union rep.

Workers struck against management bullying in December. Students protesting today said they had supported the teachers during the strike.

They say they will support teachers when they strike again on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week after a breakdown in terms of an ACAS agreement.

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