Friday 1 June 2012

Alperton teachers strike against Academy proposal

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The 70 NUT members at Alperton Community school in Wembley were on strike on Thursday 31st May against their school becoming a Co-operative academy. Pickets at the Upper and Lower school sites reported that things were very quiet both in numbers of staff from other unions going in and the number of pupils. Obviously many pupils had decided to take the day off unless they had exams. Leaflets had been distributed to pupils for their parents the day before to explain why the teachers were on strike.

Martin Allen, one of the NUT Reps, said: “There is opposition among staff to academies and with how decisions have been made. There’s no evidence academies benefit students. We feel the consultation process at Alperton has been imposed rather than discussed.”

Hank Roberts, joint secretary of the Brent Teachers Association, said: “It was a successful strike with hardly any pupils or teachers turning up. We are seeking a resolution with the head teacher. Our members voted for industrial action in a ballot which means we do not need another one to take further action.”

Jean Roberts, joint secretary of the Brent Teachers Association, added, “We left staff planning their next moves over breakfast in a local cafe. It was clear that this strike was only part of their campaign to stop the school becoming an academy and further action would follow in the near future”.

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9 comments

  1. James C said:

    I’m on the fence with regards academies, I’ve found a lot of the government stats hypocritical and contradictory and don’t totally trust any gov (Red/Blue/Yellow or mixtures thereof) to do anything other than serve it’s own interests.

    However the one thing that I do think will turn popular opinion away from the Anti academy brand is striking, it flies int he face of achieving a result. Is a strike going to change the governments mind? Most likely not, so what have we achieved?

    Day off work holding a banner and moaning……..

    Sacrifice several hundred child days of education!

    Made a lot of noise which ultimately won’t have been heard except by those who really give a hoot about this cause.

    Our childrens education should be our gift to our next generation, it should be the basis of our society, teaching is sadly a profession which seems to not be given the importance and status that it does in other countries and should receive here.

    i’m not saying academies are good or bad, i’m undecided however teacheers should be looking positively at whatever opportunity to teach comes along and saying “come on we can make the best of this for the kids”. Hopefully the teachers will make a decent wage out of it for themselves also.

    Strikes weaken your argument, they look like petulent acts from people who are oppossed to reasonable change (I’m not agreeing that forced academies are a reasonable change)………. I believe that you give the perception.

    Ultimately the kids suffer which means our future society suffers for it.

    Do we wonder why teachers are not revered in this country?.

    If this has spelling mistakes, I apologise however I’m registered as blind, run a company and mentor other partially sighted and blind people in my own time so my time is limited.

    James

    PS as a parent who has been affected by a strike and given very little notice that it was going to happen I do think that it would go down a ot better if more notice were given allowing parents to plan properly some childcare. This affects all of us and not just the children. Have a thought!

    13 June 2012 at 5:55pm
  2. Jane said:

    If teachers firmly believe that converting a school into an academy is bad for the children’s education, then surely they are right to strike as long as their intention is to explain to parents why they are taking such action. Despite what the Government would have you believe, teachers are very loathe to take strike action.

    In the case of conversion to academy status, they are attempting to protect state education, not destroy it. I wish Michael Gove had the same intention. When he says that teachers and parents know best, what he means is those few teachers and parents who agree with him.

    13 June 2012 at 6:07pm
  3. Janet said:

    James, I agree with you that forced academy status is unreasonable. That’s exactly why teachers are striking.

    14 June 2012 at 9:58pm
  4. Richard Raftery said:

    Why is withdrawing your labour seen as petulant? I do not recall the British media describing Lech Walenska and his Solidarity movement in Poland in the eighties as ‘petulant’. I don’t suppose Martin Luther King thought the striking sanitation workers in Memphis `petulant’ as he arrived to support them on the eve of his assassination. See also Egypt just over a year ago and varous other locations where strike action has been the entirely peaceful means used to make a dignified and effective protest.
    The right-wing press seeks to demonise strikers whilst applauding the ‘robber barons’ in the city who have ruined the economy. But of course we must not upset them or they will move elsewhere and then where would we be? (Are they not trying to hold the country to ransom?)
    It is time Labour politicians ceased dancing to the media tune and started to give meaningful support to all workers who are fighting to save public services.

    13 July 2012 at 12:39pm
  5. Wilbur said:

    “A good local school for every child”. That’s the problem though isn’t it? So many secondary comprehensive schools are awful. Perhaps if Ofsted and the teaching profession got their act together and started producing decent secondary schools we would not have to convert to Acadamy status.

    16 July 2012 at 5:39pm
  6. Debs said:

    Wilbur, I’m not sure who you mean by the “teaching profession” but if you mean the teachers I can tell you that we would love to be trusted to get on with our professional work. So much time is taken up now by paperwork and form filling in order to tick the boxes and jump the hurdles that Ofsted insist on putting in front of us. The introduction of league tables in the 1990s forced schools to compete with each other and inevitably there will be some that “lose out”.
    In order to get a good local school for all we need to get rid of league tables, invest in local authority controlled comprehensive schools and get rid of the quasi independent academies and free schools. An education system based on free market principles and competition will always result in “winners and losers”. An education system based on free access to all and collaboration will result in an education system to be proud of.

    16 July 2012 at 6:19pm
  7. Jane said:

    Wilbur, you say “So many secondary comprehensive schools are awful”. I’m not sure what you base this sweeping statement on. However, one thing is very clear is that academies do nothing to improve the standard of education. The drive to push through this silly academies policy is just wasting an incredible amount of money which should be spent in the classroom, not on p.r., not on higher insurance and other costs, not on chasing league tables.

    At least when a local authority school is having difficulties, the local authority is able to give support or intervene. That doesn’t happen with an academy and, although the likes of Michael Gove would have you believe that all academies are wonderful, there are failing academies and, unfortunately, they continue to fail. Check on the Ofsted website or look at the exam results.

    16 July 2012 at 7:07pm
  8. Allison said:

    I agree with Wilbur.

    Ofsted reports are misleading. Academies are generally better than comps and parents (at least in my area of Wandsworth Borough) are falling over one another to get their children into them. As a “retired teacher” and not a parent, Jane, I query your authority on this subject.

    9 August 2012 at 2:06pm
  9. Rodger123 said:

    Allison,

    The DfE site rates the academies and schools as pretty much the same in terms of performance:

    http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/group.pl?qtype=LA&superview=sec&view=aat&set=2&sort=ks4_11.ptac5em&ord=desc&tab=56&no=212&pg=1

    and as far as OFSTED is concerned …

    9 August 2012 at 8:44pm