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Worthing academy conversion pushed back by strike

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Teachers at Worthing High School in West Sussex mounted a large and lively picket on Wednesday of last week. They were striking for the second time against their school’s plans to become an academy.
Issue 2327

Teachers at Worthing High School in West Sussex mounted a large and lively picket on Wednesday of last week. They were striking for the second time against their school’s plans to become an academy.

The workers are members of the NUT and NASUWT unions. Pickets were joined by other local trade unionists. Post workers refused to cross their picket line.

Their action, together with a big and sustained parent and community campaign has already forced the school to move the proposed date of conversion to December.

They originally wanted to convert at the start of this term. Unpopular head Alison Beer—one of the two main architects of the academy plan—has also been forced to resign over an investigation into her management style by the county council.

Several other local heads have announced in recent weeks that they don’t wish to move to academy status in the near future.

The Worthing High School campaign was a major factor in their decision. Staff and campaigners are determined to continue the fight against the privatisation of our children’s education.

Lee Billingham

Connaught School teachers walk out

Teachers at Connaught School for Girls in Leytonstone, east London, struck on Wednesday of last week against the school becoming an academy.

It was the second strike by the NUT union members. The school’s governors voted on the same day to back plans to turn the school into an academy.

NUT member Steve White said the vote had been “very close”. Eight backed the plans, six opposed them, two abstained and two were absent. “There should be an emergency meeting of the governors to hold a new vote,” he said.

Some parents at the school say a consultation over the change was rushed. The local council has accused the school of including “misconceptions or inaccuracies” in a consultation document sent to parents.

Teachers plan to walk out again on Wednesday and Thursday of next week. Support to [email protected]

Sadie Robinson

Strikes to support workload action

Teachers in the NUT and NASUWT unions are planning more strikes in support of their unions’ campaign over workload.

Both unions are taking action short of a strike over pay, pensions and conditions. This involves boycotting certain duties.

In schools where head teachers refuse to accept this, workers are striking in response. NUT and NASUWT members at Stratford Academy plan to walk out again on Monday and Tuesday of next week. They plan strikes for three days the following week.

The NUT has called strikes on the same days at Highcrest Academy in Buckinghamshire. The head teacher there has also threatened to cut workers’ pay if they take part in the action short of a strike.

Meanwhile NUT and NASUWT members at Deptford Green school in Lewisham, south east London, have voted for strikes.

And both unions at Ridgewood School in Doncaster plan to walk out in defence of the action short of a strike. They have called strikes for next Tuesday, followed by the 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 November.

Sefton teachers reject offer

A group of teachers in Sefton rejected a redundancy offer last week after being left out of work by the opening of a free school.

We worked at St George of England and St Wilfrid’s High schools. But Sefton local authority terminated our employment from 31 August.

It transferred our employment to Hawthornes Free School under Tupe employment regulations. Hawthornes said that Tupe didn’t apply. When we turned up for work on 3 September we were turned away.

The local authority offered to pay us the redundancy we would have been due in August. But a number of the estimates were incorrect.

We unanimously rejected their offer. We have been ignored and lied to throughout. We will stand together. Please support us: sign our petition at

Pals of St George’s campaign group


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