Socialist Worker

'Academies in Lewisham? No way!' say strikers, students and parents

by Sheila Amrouche
Issue No. 2441

Mass picket lines during last weeks strikes in Lewisham

Mass picket lines during last week's strikes in Lewisham


NUT union members in four schools in Lewisham, south London, struck against the threat of academy status on Thursday of last week.

The strike hit three Leathersellers’ Federation schools—Prendergast Hilly Fields, Ladywell Fields and Prendergast Vale.

It also closed Sedgehill School, the largest school in Lewisham. 

Elected governors there have been dismissed and an Interim Executive Board appointed. This is a prelude to forcing academy status on the school.

Hundreds of students have already protested. This stopped the head of Bethnal Green Academy taking over the school.

Teachers, parents and students from the Leathersellers’ Federation schools converged at Prendergast Hilly Fields on the day of the strike. 

They protested as governors inside disgracefully decided to apply for an academy order.

Students in the few remaining classes inside walked out to join the protest shouting, “Academy status sucks!”

SAIL (Stop Academies in Lewisham) plans a public meeting after half term. The NASUWT and GMB unions are balloting to join the NUT in further strikes. 

School students plan more protests. At Prendergast Vale 60 students have held 20-minute refusal to work protests three times in the last week.

So far, Lewisham has resisted large scale academy conversions.

We have the brilliant example of the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign to live up to—and we intend to win.


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Tue 17 Feb 2015, 15:56 GMT
Issue No. 2441
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