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Rage against academy plans: Manchester, Chesterfield, Nottingham, Cambridge, Sheffield and Leeds protests

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Issue 2496
Teachers, parents and children said
Teachers, parents and children said ‘Hands off our schools’ in Matlock

THERE IS deep anger against the government’s plans for forced academies and other attacks on education.

Teachers called protests against them yesterday, the biggest was in London, but there were others in at least 12 other areas.

They included:

Sheffield: Up to 60 members of the NUT and ATL unions joined a lunchtime rally outside the town hall. NUT joint divisional secretary Simon Murch said it was “a positive beginnng and lots of parents were really supportive”.

Cambridges lively demonstration

Cambridge’s lively demonstration

A clear message from Leeds
A clear message from Leeds (Pic: Steve Johnston)


“With the recent changes to the SATs tests children are going to suffer even more. They will be expected to have knowledge of things they haven’t been taught. As this will impact results, it’s another way for them to force academies on us.

“We need to see definite leadership from the NUT conference this week. We need to stand up and agree a rolling programme of strikes after Easter. We’ve had junior doctors come in and speak at our union meetings and we’ve supported them. Now we should look to coordinate strikes with them.”

Cambridge: Paula Champion, an early years teacher and NUT rep from Cambridge, said there is “deep anger” in her school over the Tories plan. Around 30 gathered to protest in Cambridge tonight. Paula said, “There was a real understanding of the scale of this attack – it will mean the end of state education as we know it.

“Some parents were at the protest who raised concerns about it would mean for their children who have special educational needs. We had parent governors there from academies who talked about their experience too.

“We agreed to get as many workplace meetings going as soon as possible and after Easter we will launch a campaign that will be open to everyone. There was a real feeling that we have to get involved in this fight – and that we can stop it.”

Manchester: About 35 people lobbied Tory Trafford Council against forced academies. The demonstration was called by Trafford NUT and supported by members of the GMB, Unison and the CWU.

Parents and teachers were joined by a delegation of junior doctors who came to thank the NUT for their support during their strikes.

Sian Bloor, Divisional Secretary for Trafford NUT told Socialist Worker, “Trafford is the lowest funded local authority in the country and we are looking at a 20 percent reduction in teaching support staff and 5 percent reduction in teachers.

“There have been lots of redundancies since September. We desperately need to campaign and lobby the government over this.”

Emma Runswick, a BMA member, told Socialist Worker (below) about how she had helped organise 1,700 other doctors and medical staff to sign a statement in support of teachers and against Acadamies

Leeds: More than 70 teaches and supporters rallied with speakers from Leeds NUT, NASUWT, the ATL and the head teachers’ union. We listened to the new song by Gary Kaye “Looking through Nicky Morgan’s eyes”

Nottingham: Over 100 teachers and their supporters joined a demonstration.

Chesterfield: Over 60 people joined a lively rally in Matlock, Derbyshire to send out a strong message that they reject the academisation of our schools proposed by the Tories in the budget.

Nottingham: strong against the Tories

Nottingham: strong against the Tories

The rally was called by parents who fought a successful anti-academies campaign at Castle View school last year.

Lisa Tunnell from the NUT spoke strongly on the need for teachers, parents and school governors to come together in a massive campaign that can knock back the Tories’ plans.

Thanks to everyone who sent in reports and pictures


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