Socialist Worker

John Roan battle rages on

Issue No. 2654

Strikers at John Roan school

Strikers at John Roan school (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Workers at The John Roan school in Greenwich, south east London, struck on Tuesday. The NEU union members are fighting a plan to turn the school into an academy.

After an academy sponsor pulled out workers have been told a new sponsor has been found but have been given no more details.

School students joined pickets, and passing vehicles tooted their support for the strike. School student Martha told Socialist Worker, “I’m worried if it does become an academy, they will find a way to give less support to children with learning difficulties.”

Pat, a former student and parent at the school, also joined pickets in solidarity. “There are problems at the school,” she told Socialist Worker.

“But I just don’t see that academisation, removing all democratic accountability, is the solution.”

Workers lobbied the Department for Education following the picket. They want education secretary Damian Hinds to revoke the academy order.

Striker Evelyn told Socialist Worker, “In academies there’s a higher staff turnaround and that’s not good for children. There’s a lack of stability and continuity.

“It would be a sad place to work in. Academies are more like businesses. They don’t really care about children.”

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Workers in the NEU, GMB and Unison unions struck at the Halley Academy in Greenwich on Tuesday.

They are fighting a plan to make 19 support staff redundant.

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