By Dave Gilchrist in Birmingham
NUT Teachers in Birmingham School Small Heath began nine days of action this morning with a vibrant picket line.
About 30 teachers and supporters gathered at the main site whilst two other sites were also picketed. The teachers are resisting plans to convert the school to an Academy. Management have responded by suspending respected and popular teacher Simon O’Hara. Simon, who is also NUT rep at the school, was brought gifts on the picket by supporters. Other teachers and lecturers from nearby schools and colleges brought food and drinks to the protesters.
The NUT will be joined by other unions tomorrow. Both teachers in the NASUWT and support staff in ATL will be joining the action.
The pickets were joined by NUT Deputy General Secretary Kevin Courtney. Kevin had brought messages of support from over 150 other teacher groups from all over the country and from the Chicago Teachers Union in the U.S.. Kevin told the pickets that the NUT will fight all the way to defend Simon.
Teachers also were clear that although the fight to defend Simon is important, they will also keep fighting to prevent their school becoming an academy. ‘We are defending education’, they said.
The campaign has a twitter account @reinstatesimon and uses the hashtag #reinstatesimon and #noacademy #smallheath