TEACHERS IN Sheffield have taken an important step forward in a battle against redundancies resulting from a "Fresh Start" at Herries School. The NASUWT union agreed to call for coordinated action after the NUT union in Sheffield voted to ballot for strike action across the city.
The council was faced with joint strikes by the main teaching unions and withdrew the redundancies at least until December. Teachers not re-employed at the Fresh Start school are to be given jobs elsewhere.
The unions will need to remain vigilant to ensure that they secure permanent jobs after next term. The strength of feeling among teachers was revealed by the NUT's 90 percent yes vote in a record turnout.
This shows the basis for a more aggressive response to Fresh Start. Action needs to be taken earlier to prevent the nightmare of teachers having to reapply for their own jobs. The mood was there for a complete victory.
The campaign highlighted the damage Fresh Start does to schools. Even the local education authority has little faith in the scheme. It has given teachers at Herries "guarantees of alternative employment" if the experiment fails and the school is shut. It will not give such guarantees to children at the school and the local community. $ Central Foundation
Teachers at Central Foundation School, east London, held their second one-day strike against cuts in the English as an additional language service on Thursday of last week