Experimenting on our kids: academisation and its discontents

Staff are taking strike action against the academisation of their school in Greenwich. Their next strike days are on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 July, when GMB staff will be joining their striking NEU colleagues. Below is a video of a speech given by Howard Stevenson at a previous strike rally. Introduced by Andy Stone, Joint Secretary, Wandsworth National Education Union (NUT section).

(The results of a ‘picket line art lesson‘ by Colin Revolting on 5 July. Photo: Open Eye Film.)

Staff and parents at John Roan school in Greenwich are waging an inspiring campaign against the academisation of their school. Staff have voted 95% in favour of taking strike action against the decision to transfer their employer from the local education authority to a Multi-Academy Trust, and were out in force on 20 and 26 June and 3 and 5 July. They will be out again on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 July and would welcome solidarity messages – to Tim.Woodcock@neu.org.uk – and visits to their lively picket lines. They are also crowd-funding a legal challenge to the Ofsted report that has triggered this forced academisation under government rules. You can find out more and donate here.

The video below is a speech to their second strike rally on 26 June, where Howard Stevenson, Director of Research, Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Nottingham University, explains the neoliberal ideological drive towards taking schools out of public hands and imposing a semi-privatised system inspired by Swedish and American Charter Schools. This is despite widespread evidence that academies do not perform better than local authority schools, as underlined in recent reports by the Education Policy Institute and the Local Government Association. And in the process of trying to boost their league table position, they are more likely to undermine the conditions of staff and, shamefully, to ‘off-roll’ large numbers of students, disproportionately those eligible for free school meals or with special educational needs, to improve their exam success rates.

The fight for schools that serve our children and communities, not corporations and league tables, continues.

Please send messages of support to Tim.Woodcock@neu.org.uk and visit the picket line on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 July. Also follow them on facebook and twitter @johnroanresists #NoToAcademies

Picket line at John Roan. Photo: John Roan Resists fb page.

 

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