TEACHERS AT Kingsland School in Hackney, east London, are to ballot for strikes over the sacking of their union rep, Indro Sen. Teachers in four other schools are to hold consultative strike ballots over the same issue.
At the same time opposition is growing to plans by the Learning Trust to close Kingsland School. The trust is the unelected body which has replaced the local elected education authority in Hackney.
It proposes the closure of Kingsland School, one of only two secular mixed comprehensive schools in the borough, and Laburnum Primary School. It then proposes to build two new city academies. They would be funded with £1 million private money and £20 million from the taxpayer. The private money would mean the academies could be taken off national teachers' pay and conditions.
Indro Sen, Kingsland's NUT union rep, lost his appeal against his sacking in October. Sen is renowned as an excellent maths teacher. The support from parents and pupils at Kingsland provides moving testimony to this. In the current climate in Hackney, Sen's sacking is a foretaste of what the Learning Trust has in mind with its city academies.