Socialist Worker

Education round up: Workers at John Roan school step up fight

Issue No. 2612

Confidence on the picket lines at John Roan school last week

Confidence on the picket lines at John Roan school last week (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Workers at John Roan school in Greenwich, south east London, were set to escalate their action this week.

NEU union members at the school have taken five days of strikes against a plan for the school to join a new academy chain, the University Schools Trust.

GMB union members were set to join a two-day strike this Wednesday.

It means that around 100 workers will take part in the action.

Strikers have already forced the planned academy conversion back. It will now not go ahead in September. More action can stop the plan altogether.

Send messages of support to [email protected]

NASUWT union members at Sunderland’s Washington Academy ended a three-day strike last Thursday.

Workers are in dispute over the “failure of the employer to respond to the deep concerns about the culture in which they are expected to work”.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said concerns over “pupil indiscipline and excessive workload remain unresolved”. Further strikes could follow this month.

Anti-academies campaign keeps up fight in Newham

Supporters of Newham Against Academisation last Tuesday lobbied the council to keep its pledge to ballot parents and workers over turning schools into academies.

The Labour-run council in east London made the promise in February after a series of successful strikes over academisation.

The new council cabinet reversed this pledge at a meeting last Tuesday.

The law says decisions lie only with governors.

In a stacked process a few governors, most not elected but appointed for “skills sets” such as financial management, have the power to hand over the school. And they are not held to account for their decisions.

Newham NEU union branch secretary Louise Cuffaro has written to councillors urging them to support ballots and make governors abide by the results.

Union members and parents know huge education cuts are coming.

Our campaign will need to continue to hold the council to its promises. We need to defend community schools, special educational needs and disability resources and overall education provision in Newham.

Miriam Scharf

Springfield teachers start sixth week of rolling strike

NEU union members at Springfield Primary School in Birmingham were set to take their 17th, 18th and 19th days of strikes this week.

They have walked out for three days every week against a proposed staffing restructure.

More workers at the school have joined the strike and morale on the picket lines is high. Parents have stood with strikers on the picket line on every strike day singing, “Hey, ho, the restructure has got to go!”

And they have made a banner stating, “We support the strikers.”

NEU (NUT section) national president Kiri Tunks visited the picket lines and gave a rousing speech in support of the strike. And Labour councillors Nicky Brennan and Mohammed Fazal have both joined the picket lines on a number of occasions. Workers and parents have lost all faith in interim head teacher Robin Grover and the interim executive board. And they are concerned that Labour-run Birmingham City Council has allowed Grover to try to drive through the changes. His employment at the school finishes at the end of this academic year.

Workers plan to strike until the end of term.

Send messages of support to david.r[email protected]

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.