Socialist Worker

Hackney special school strikers demand improvements for workers and students

by Jane Bassett
Issue No. 2736

On the picket ilne

On the picket ilne (Pic: Jane Bassett)


Action continued at Leaways special school in Hackney, with three days of strikes this week.

Determined NEU union members at the east London school– teachers and support staff—joined picket lines. Passers-by hooted and waved in support, and students from the school chatted with strikers.

Workers are fighting for better pay and conditions, including parity with state schools.

Leaways is an independent special school with a focus on autism, attention deficit disorder, and social, emotional and mental health needs.

Workers have been promised a review so that pay rates and working hours are transparent. They have also achieved union recognition, but are still concerned about the lack of proper sick pay arrangements.

Students

They are also continuing to fight for better conditions for the students they teach and are calling on management to meet.

Alex Kenny from the NEU national executive came to the picket line and brought a message of support from the executive.

He said that teachers and other staff want to help their students. But this means being prepared to stand up for their education, and to make sure they are getting the provision they need.

He also talked about the action in neighbouring Tower Hamlets over defending the support service, which is under threat.

After this week’s strikes, workers have said they want to see their students do their mock exams and to give management a chance to resolve the dispute.

Leaways is part of a wider chain, the Kedleston Group, which runs 13 schools, with 133 residential and 402 days places, and is planning to open a new school in Enfield.

It is registered in Jersey—a tax haven.

Messages of support to Hackney NEU Joint Secretary [email protected]

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