Socialist Worker

Strike to beat the cuts as schools in England return

by Paul McGarr
Issue No. 2520

Teachers voted for strikes at their national conference earlier this year

Teachers voted for strikes at their national conference earlier this year (Pic: Guy Smallman)

The two biggest fights we face in schools are over spending cuts that threaten to wreck education, and ending primary Sats tests.

The NUT union leadership say they will consider action later. They want to wait and see the outcome of the government’s autumn spending statement in November or early December.

They also want to wait until the government’s plans on “fair funding” are announced this autumn.

That risks delaying until it’s too late, and it’d be better if we acted quicker in the build up towards the autumn statement to pile on the pressure. We know the government is planning major announcements.

We can win on both fronts. Our strike before the summer was effective.


Nicky Morgan has gone as education secretary. The government has had to make a major swerve on its forced academisation plan.

The so-called “fair funding” plan—to rob inner city schools across Britain—has been delayed.

Of course the wider campaign and many other factors were important in these retreats by the government, but our strike was a key factor too.

The major attacks remain. There is still the threat of more forced academisation.

The spending cuts under the guise of “fair funding” are still coming, on top of planned national spending cuts already penciled in.

And schools are already facing 8 percent cuts to every school budget this year due to changes to pensions and National Insurance.

We should be building a national campaign to demand this urgent action. We can call on and will get support from the Labour leadership too.

And the most effective way to press the government to act would be to call national strikes—and to do so if possible alongside the junior doctors and others.

• Sixth Forms

NUT members in Sixth Forms were promised a ballot this term after their successful strike last March. It is vital this ballot now goes ahead this half term.

• Sink the Sats

We need to campaign vigorously across the country to build the fight against Sats tests. At the heart of that campaign needs to be a ballot for action that can scupper next year’s Sats.

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