Academies

Batley, blasphemy and the religious right

After the Batley Grammar School row, which led to protests outside the school, teachers being suspended, and one going into hiding for his own safety, the teachers have been reinstated. On 27 May an independent investigation commissioned by Batley Multi Academy Trust found that teaching staff at Batley Grammar School who had shown one of the Charlie Hebdo images of Mohammed “genuinely believed that using the image had an educational purpose and benefit, and that it was not used with the intention of causing offence. The image was included to initiate a discussion about the meaning of...

A victory at Pimlico Academy

Staff and students at Pimlico Academy in London have already seen a first victory. On 18 May, the day before a National Education Union (NEU) ballot for strike action closed, head teacher Daniel Smith announced he would leave on 31 May. Student protest and the threat of workers’ action has seen off the ultimate school bully. Staff have been organising over bullying management; failure to address accusations of racism; lack of adequate safeguarding and unreasonable workload. The NEU strike ballot, which closed last week, came back with a resounding yes vote, and staff are due to hold their...

Marching for Moulsecoomb

Hundreds of parents, kids, workers and supporters braved the rain to march from Moulsecoomb primary school to a rally at The Level in Brighton on Saturday 15 May, demanding that the school remain in local authority control.

Despite overwhelming opposition, the Department for Education is...

Marching for Moulsecoomb

Hundreds of parents, kids, workers and supporters braved the rain to march from Moulsecoomb primary school to a rally at The Level in Brighton on Saturday 15 May, demanding that the school remain in local authority control. Despite overwhelming opposition, the Department for Education is persisting in trying to force Moulsecoomb to become an Academy. Under Tory laws building on New Labour’s Academies policy, it does not matter if workers, students, parents, the local council and community all oppose Academy status — as they do in the case of Moulsecoomb — it can still go ahead so long as there...

“Kick the racist out!” Rebellion at Pimlico Academy

Update, 27 April: Pimlico workers vote for strike ballot - see here




On Wednesday 31 March, their last day of term, almost a thousand students at Pimlico Academy, the flagship school run by Future Academies, sat down in the playground and refused to go to lessons.

The students were...

How Stevenage fought Future Academies

In 2017-2018, the workers, students and community of Barclay School in Stevenage waged a major campaign to prevent takeover by Future Academies, who have leapt to wider attention recently as a result of the anti-racist rebellion by students at Pimlico Academy. We republish here a 2019 interview about the campaign with Jill Borcherds, who was a teacher and National Education Union rep at Barclay School, and Labour candidate for Stevenage in the 2019 general election; and Josh Lovell, a Labour councillor in the ward. Never published online before, it was originally printed in the Clarion...

"Kick the racist out!" Rebellion at Pimlico Academy

Republished from our school workers' blog Class Struggle On Wednesday 31 March, their last day of term, almost a thousand students at Pimlico Academy, the flagship school run by Future Academies, sat down in the playground and refused to go to lessons. The students were protesting a racist school uniform policy, which instructed students with afro hairstyles to cut their hair and students wearing hijabs to cover all of their hair; miserly and “humiliating” free school meal provision; the failure to support students that have been sexually assaulted at school; a whitewashed history curriculum...

Sywell strikes against academisation

Members of the National Education Union at Sywell Primary School in Northamptonshire are set to strike on Tuesday 26 and Thursday 28 January over a long-running dispute against the academisation of their school.

Make Labour abolish academies!

Online only Labour Party conference in Brighton (21-25 September) voted to: "Ensure Local Authorities establish reformed, democratically accountable local education committees… Ensure all publicly funded schools be brought back under the control of these new local education committees". Sharper wording had been lost in the compositing, but the clear intention is: bring back all academies and free schools under local authorities. As with some other left-wing policies, however, it looks like the leadership deliberately avoided argument on conference floor so as not to draw attention to it, let...

How Labour should end austerity

Since 2010 austerity has ground down working-class living standards for the benefit of the ultra-rich. Life has been made meaner and more insecure. Boris Johnson now says he will end austerity. But that is all a matter of previously-budgeted money being “recycled” and called expansion, and random promises to try to win a general election after which he will be free to do his right-wing worst for five years. The NHS and social care have been squeezed so that waiting lists expand and A&E wait times explode. Hospitals routinely run at the upper limit of capacity, so that an epidemic, or an...

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