Socialist Worker

Action against forced academies hots up

by an anti-academies campaigner
Issue No. 2302

Teachers at Downhills Primary School in Haringey will find out the result of a strike ballot on Monday of next week. A yes vote could see the NUT union members strike on 22 May.

Workers balloted for action over plans to change their employer by forcing the school to become a privatised academy. Unison and GMB union members at the school are also set to ballot.

NUT and NASUWT union members in 12 schools in Birmingham are also set to ballot over forced academies from this week.

This marks a significant step in the fight against school privatisation.

Parents at Downhills have fought an inspiring campaign against the academy plans. Yet Tory education secretary Michael Gove and his business cronies are pressing ahead.

Gove has imposed an Interim Executive Board of governors on Downhills.

Some board members are connected to the “preferred” sponsor, The Harris Federation. This is led by Tory party donor Lord Harris, owner of the Carpet Right chain.


Activists plan to target the academy sponsors and their corporate backers.

On Wednesday of next week the Olympia exhibition centre will host The Academies Show—a jamboree for those hoping to profit out of privatising education.

The Anti Academies Alliance and other groups have called a protest from 9am.

Academies and free school are disrupting the whole structure of education. Strikes alongside parent-led campaigns against conversions can defeat the plans.

We also need a national campaign. Budgets cuts are beginning to bite. Government “reforms” and the increasingly political use of school inspections have created a toxic climate.

Parents and staff need to unite to defend education. Downhills and Birmingham are showing the way.

For more on the campaign go to

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Article information

Tue 8 May 2012, 16:29 BST
Issue No. 2302
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