Socialist Worker

Anti-Academties conference says resistance can still make a difference

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2345

Activists gathered for the annual general meeting of the Anti Academies Alliance on Saturday of last week.

Many are involved in campaigns to stop schools being turned into academies.

Lucy Cox spoke about a campaign to defend Gladstone Park primary school in West London. 

She described a recent planned meeting with local MP Sarah Teather that didn’t happen because Teather “got lost”.

“Our campaign is a bit of a problem for them,” said Lucy. “They’ve missed the announcement of who the academy sponsor would be twice. We’ve really started to get them worried.”

Teachers from Alec Reed academy in Ealing, west London, also spoke. They are in dispute over bullying (see right) at the school, which has been an academy for ten years.

One said, “We’re outside the local authority and there’s no one looking over the principal’s shoulders.

“There are no checks and balances. Essentially there’s just one person in charge.”

Alasdair Smith is secretary of the Anti Academies Alliance. He described the frustration of many campaigners at the number of academies being set up.

But he stressed that resistance made a difference and said strikes against academies should be coordinated.

Many others agreed. Paul had been part of ten days of strikes at Connaught School for Girls in Leytonstone, east London.

“We didn’t win, and we became an academy,” he said. 

“But the fact that we took action means management has agreed not to change our conditions. “They don’t want any more disputes.

“Where you put up resistance they are less likely to change your terms and conditions.” Many activists argued for a national campaign to defend education.


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Thu 21 Mar 2013, 15:42 GMT
Issue No. 2345
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