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Academies round-up

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School students in Basildon, Essex, struck last week against cuts at their academy school.
Issue 2258

School students in Basildon, Essex, struck last week against cuts at their academy school.

Around 100 gathered in the school yard before lessons began on Tuesday of last week chanting “we’re on strike” and “we shall not be moved”. The strike was against plans to cut up to 30 jobs at their school, Basildon Lower Academy, and Basildon Upper Academy.

Teaching assistants, caretakers and lab technicians are among those threatened with redundancy.

Teachers in the NASUWT union at Ilkeston school in Derbyshire struck on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

They are resisting plans to turn their school into a privately-run academy.

And NASUWT members at Range and Formby High Schools in Merseyside have voted against plans to turn the schools into academies. The union may now ballot for strikes.

Pauline Gay, a parent of a student at Range High School, said, “This proposal is bad for the school, bad for the community and bad for the future of fair education for all.

“We are especially concerned that the conversions will be pushed through for 1 September.”

Workers and parents lobbied shadow education secretary Andy Burnham on Wednesday of last week, protesting over lack of consultation on the plans.

Formby Labour Party member Ben Bentley said he was “gravely concerned” that parents were not being balloted over the plans.

And teachers at Greenbank and Birkdale High schools in Southport may also ballot against academies. One teacher said, “They are dismantling the welfare state. The schools belong to us.”

Parents and students are also opposed to the plans. A student said, “Academies will not benefit Birkdale. We are doing well and shouldn’t have to change.” Parents want a vote on whether the schools should convert.

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