On Thursday 31st May NUT members at Alperton Community school in Brent will be on strike against their governors decision to convert to a Co-op academy. The message to parents below from the teachers at Alperton explains why they have taken this very difficult decision to strike. There will be a picket at the school on Thursday from 8.00 am at both the Stanley Avenue and Ealing Rd entrances.
Jean Roberts, Joint BTA Secretary said, “We are proud that teachers at Alperton are standing up against this decision. The academies programme is Gove’s plan to worsen state education by removing legal safeguards on teachers pay and conditions ultimately allowing unqualified teachers to teach, privatising the management of all state funded schools and again ultimately opening them all up to be run for profit. Their idea is to have a chaotic free-for-all market in state education which they say will drive down costs and improve the quality of education.
“It will certainly drive down costs but the privatisation of state education for profit will no more improve the quality of education than it will improve the quality of service for the majority of people in the national health service.”
Members of the National Union of Teachers at Alperton Community School will be taking strike action on Thursday 31 st May 2012 . This is as a result of the school’s Governing body voting on Tuesday 22nd May 2012 to become an Academy.
We ask for your support for our action and want to explain briefly why we are doing this.
Academies are publicly funded but privately run schools outside of the Local Authority. The NUT, in fact all education unions and the TUC, are opposed to schools being run in this way and believe that this Government wants to privatise the management of education as they do with, for example, the NHS, Royal Mail and prisons.
Even though Alperton has applied to become a ‘Co-operative’ Academy, there is no evidence that Academies benefit pupils and no evidence that they get better examination results. The teachers are concerned for the future of all students and staff in all schools that change to Academies.
The Government has overspent on converting academies and free schools by £600 million. There is no guarantee that the short term ‘bribe’ to get schools to become academies will continue, rather the reverse. All schools and academies will receive the same funding from April next year. In fact there has been overpayment of more than £120 million to academies, some having to pay this back by July. The first for profit company has been agreed to run a free school in Suffolk. Others will follow.
Members of staff at the school, both teachers and non teachers have voted by a large majority in a secret ballot against Academy status and the Chair of Governors has acknowledged that there is no ‘consensus’ amongst the different stakeholders. As a parent you may have been given a letter by your child asking you to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but there has not really been any attempt to provide you with both sides of the argument.
Teachers and staff at the school work incredibly hard to achieve the best results for students attending the school. Teachers do not decide to take strike action lightly.
We strongly urge the Governing Body of the school to reconsider its application to become a Cooperative Academy and to undertake a thorough and much longer consultation, with parents and carers being allowed fully to hear both sides of the argument before having their say.
National Union of Teachers at Alperton Community School
No pupils taking exams on Thursday will be disadvantaged.