Sunday 17 June 2012

Save Downhills escalates with a joint-strike by UNISON/NUT & lobbying of the DfE

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Following successful strike action by the NUT last term, together Unison and NUT members at Downhills Primary School in Tottenham have notified their acting head teacher that there is to be a day’s strike next Tuesday 19th June against the forced academy conversion.

Please rush messages of support to:

Downhills UNISON: healthandsafety@haringeyunison.co.uk

Haringey UNISON: Branchsecretary@haringeyunison.co.uk

Downhills NUT: philbrett@msn.com

 

Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Lobby the DfE:  11am June 19th 

Together with Haringey Campaign Against Academies and the Save Downhills campaign, the unions have called a lobby of the Department for Education. The purpose of the lobby is to ask the Secretary of State Mr. Gove to listen to their concerns about his plan to force their school in to academy status.

They expect the lobby to last no more than an hour. It is likely that some children will accompany their parents in a coach of parents, staff and community campaigners from that will leave in the earlier in the morning from Downhills primary school.

You can join the lobby and bring along banners and placards at 11am outside the Department for Education, Great Smith St, Westminster.  See the facebook event: here 

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, has said:
“This is another example of the Education Secretary forcing his will and vision for education upon communities who do not want to see their schools handed over to unaccountable sponsors. This has nothing whatsoever to do with standards but everything to do with the break up of our education system. The free schools and academies programme is a costly experiment which is neither wanted nor needed.”

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Downhills NUT May 22nd strike action against forced conversion

NUT members at the school were supported on the picket line by Julie Davies, secretary of Haringey NUT and by parents and supporters from across London. NUT banners from Ealing, Islington, Camden and Hackney were also present. Nick Grant and Martin Powell Davies from the NUT National Executive came to show their support.

 

The Downhills school community remains strongly opposed to privatising their school and handing it over to an academy chain such as the Harris Federation run by Tory Party donor and owner of Carpetright, the ‘fat cat’ Lord Harris.

Parents Party in the Park
Over 300 parents and children gathered in Downhills Park in glorious sunshine on Tuesday to show their support for NUT members taking strike action to prevent their school being forced into academy status.

At lunch time teachers and support staff from Downhills and other local schools came to show solidarity.They were also joined by children’s poet and broadcaster Mike Rosen. He expressed his support and spoke passionately arguing that “there is no evidence academy status improves the education of children. You are being tested by a Secretary of State with a political agenda to privatise education. I congratulate you on your stand. Today you have shown unity in action. You are proud to be a community school. This your school. Let’s fight to keep it that way”.Parents and local campaigners have vowed to keep up the pressure on Gove and the Harris Federation – the ‘preferred sponsor’ – to drop academy plans. They are angry at flaws in the consultation process and the threat of a legal challenge remains.The Interim Executive Board (IEB) is consulting on the future of the school. The consultation closes 1st June and it is due to report on 29th June. Meanwhile UNISON members at the school have been balloted and further joint strike will be announced shortly.
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2 comments

  1. Phil Brett said:

    The NUT members at Downhills have asked me to pass on our thanks to the huge numbers of people who have sent messages of support for our campaign against being forced to be an academy. Our strike day and Solidarity in the Park organised by the parents showed once again that we are truly a community school, for the commuity and supported by the community! Our struggle continues!

    24 May 2012 at 9:51am
  2. kathleen tripp said:

    So proud of you all at Downhills! Keep fighting, you are doing a great job of highlighting this gross injustice!

    17 June 2012 at 4:47pm