Education unions

Pimlico Academy: near a tipping point

On 8 June, National Education Union (NEU) members at Pimlico Academy (London) held their first strike day. A sunny Tuesday morning saw a strong turnout from members, with the picket line stretching all the way down the road. Workers carried placards with slogans including: “kick racism out of school...

Pimlico Academy: near a tipping point

On 8 June, National Education Union (NEU) members at Pimlico Academy (London) held their first strike day. A sunny Tuesday morning saw a strong turnout from members, with the picket line stretching all the way down the road. Workers carried placards with slogans including: “kick racism out of school”; “kick islamophobia out of school” and “hold the Nashes accountable”. Lord John Nash, Tory peer and former Academies and Free Schools Minister, and Lady Caroline Nash are Future Academies Trustees and the main force behind the Trust. Lady Nash, for instance, is the leading figure in the Trust’s in...

Reject "catch up" blather: fight school cuts!

On 2 June the government announced a £1.4bn “Covid Catch-up” programme for pupils and students, to cover up to six million sets of 15-hour tutoring courses for disadvantaged pupils and expansion of an existing fund for helping 16- to 19-year-olds with subjects such as English and maths. Kevan Collins, the government’s “Catch-up tsar” resigned after the announcement. According to the Financial Times, he and education secretary Gavin Williamson wanted to pay teachers to extend the school day by 30 minutes, and that was vetoed by chancellor Rishi Sunak on grounds of cost. Sunak spent £0.84...

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...

Three wins, two setbacks

The United Learning academy chain has pulled back from dismissing teacher and National Education Union (NEU) activist Kirstie Paton.

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...

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...

NEU: a setback and advances

The National Education Union (NEU) Executive elections closed on 29 April. Disappointingly, Workers’ Liberty supporter and victimised rep Tracy McGuire lost the national support staff seat, after a vicious campaign by the misnamed “NEU Left”, who have been as determined to remove her from her Executive role as her employer was to sack her. This deprives the executive of a tenacious fighter for support staff. Tracy has fought to ensure the union fully represents support staff and develops into an industrial union. That is why the “NEU Left” fought so hard to remove her. However disgusting her...

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