Socialist Worker

The Village School keeps up academy fight as workers face attacks in Bradford

Issue No. 2624

Workers on strike at The Village School earlier this year

Workers on strike at The Village School earlier this year (Pic: Guy Smallman)

NEU union members at The Village School in Brent, west London, are continuing their fight to stop the school becoming an academy.

Workers there have staged several strikes against a plan for the school to become part of a multi-academy trust with Woodfield academy.

A general meeting of Brent NEU unanimously passed a statement last week commending the struggle.

It welcomed Labour’s pledge to stop all new academies.

“We note with regret how out of touch the Brent Labour Party chief whip Sandra Kabir is,” it said.

“She pushed forward the academisation as chair of governors.”

“There is still time for her to act and the proposal be withdrawn. We call on Brent Labour council to lobby the government and the department for education to halt the deeply flawed proposed Woodfield/Village multi-academy trust.

“Should this not happen, we urge Brent Council to call on any new Labour government to take The Village back into local authority control as a first priority.”

Academy bosses plan an unholy host of attacks in Bradford

Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust (BDAT) has announced a severe attack on workers with a plan to ditch all national and local agreements.

BDAT, which runs over 14 Schools in Bradford, could scrap workers’ pay and conditions agreements contained in the “Burgundy Book”.

This could mean:

  • Rights to sick pay reduced in some circumstances
  • Substantially reduced rates of redundancy pay for most teachers and some other staff
  • Probationary periods for all staff changing roles, which could result in dismissal
  • The possibility that future national pay rises will not be implemented.

The trust admits,“The proposed changes are intended to give BDAT the right to have the flexibility not to honour the pay rises.”

Teachers and other school staff are angry and are starting to organise.

The school trade unions —ASCL, GMB, NAHT, NEU, NASUWT and Unison— are acting together and called a meeting for Thursday.

This attack is nationally significant. Academies’ trusts have so far not dared to undermine the Burgundy Book in this way.

Bradford school teachers must fight this battle and every teacher across Britain must offer them solidarity to ensure they win. Otherwise other trusts will follow suit.

A Bradford teacher

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