Socialist Worker

Lively anti-academy strike at Prince Henry's Grammar School

Issue No. 2278

Teachers at Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley, Leeds, took part in a lively strike on Thursday of last week.

NUT and NASUWT union members joined picket lines in a bid to stop plans for the school to become an academy next month.

They were set to strike again on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, and on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

More than 60 teachers picketed.

They then marched to a rally in Otley town centre where strikers and supporters heard messages of support from around Britain.

Local people gave them a warm welcome.

Teachers have the support of many parents and local politicians. Nine school governors have resigned over the issue.

Two parents’ meetings voted overwhelmingly against a conversion to academy status and there is serious opposition within the teaching staff.

Yet management wants to convert the school on 1 December.

Richard Raftery is a local officer of Leeds NUT.

He told Socialist Worker, “Academies make agreements on national pay and conditions vulnerable.

“School managements can give assurances to workers, but these can be reneged upon very quickly.

“It’s a nightmare scenario. Academy schools can choose to pay teachers less or lengthen the school day. The threat of an academy is a threat to our rights.

“But teachers at Prince Henry’s Grammar School are making a brave and courageous stand.

“And we’ve had lots of messages of support, especially from parents.”

Send messages of support to [email protected] and [email protected]

Thanks to Steve Johnston and John Appleyard

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