Socialist Worker

Teachers walk out for conditions and pupils at four National Autistic Society schools

by Julie Sherry and George Arthur
Issue No. 2388

Lobby of the National Autistic Society in London on Tuesday

Lobby of the National Autistic Society in London on Tuesday (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Teachers at four schools run by the National Autistic Society (NAS) struck on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.

They were out against attacks on pay and conditions that would see summer holidays drastically cut. 

The strikers in the NUT and NASUWT unions teach children severely affected by autism.

NAS schools are privately run and the unions are not recognised. Despite this, strikers on the picket line of the Sybil Elgar school’s Acton site in West London were upbeat. Support from parents was clear as car after car tooted in support or stopped to greet the strikers. 

One striker told Socialist Worker, “This is never been only a job. It’s great when you are able to see the students achieving and feeling happy about that.

“But there are certain things we can’t stand anymore. We are losing our self respect, and we are striking because we value that and our students.”

A teacher on the picket line at Robert Ogden school, Thurnscoe, Barnsley, said, “It has been hard standing up to management threats. It helps when we get  messages of support and make links with other schools in the group.” 

The Barnsley teachers travelled to London and joined a lobby of the NAS on Tuesday of this week.

The action was set to be followed by a two-day strike on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Messages of support to Sheila Baker NUT rep sbaker@robertogden.rotherham.sch.uk

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