The idea to take our fight to Chester came from a campaigner’s son. Robert Coyne is a Year 8 student at Shorefields, he suggested to his Dad “At the next teachers strike, why don’t you take the fight & the campaign to Chester & protest on their turf.” So we did!!The NUT, NASWUT & GMB all agreed & arranged strike No4, this time we would not be standing on the Shorefields picket line but, protesting on Chester University’s turf.
At 1030am on 19th July 2011, Teachers Unions Representatives, Parents, Students & Supporting members of the community all boarded a double decker bus, destination Chester, the atmosphere was fantastic. We had previously been told that the Vice Chancellor of Chester University had agreed to meet with us for chat, but backed out at the last minute.
When we got to Chester University we were greeted by BBC North West as well as a representative from the university. The University had laid refreshments on for us; however we didn’t go straight to the hall, we all gathered together and began to sing:
Tune: I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside by John Glover-Kind (1907), with new words by members of Liverpool Socialist Singers (2011) www.liverpoolsocialistsingers.net
Oh I do want to get an education,
At a school down the road from you and me.
And I do want to have a lot of fun fun fun
And an int’resting curriculum.
Oh I don’t want to go to an academy
They should listen to the parents and the kids.
There is plenty stuff besides
Which they’re trying hard to hide
About academies; they’re not for me!
Oh they say they’re going to have a consultation
And they’re promising to listen to what we say
And they say that democracy is cool, cool, cool
Well we’d like to have some in our school.
Cos the parents aren’t invited to the meetings
And the teachers have been threatened with the sack.
So it’s easy to decide
That we’ll be standing side by side
Against academies; they’re not for me!
A small group campaigners & union reps went into the university & handed them a copy of our Epetition. From the university we made our way to Chester city centre….It was a real ‘OUR DAY OUT’’!! Before we made our way to the town centre, we all sat on the bus and tucked into the barms, crisp, fruit, biscuits & drinks that the wonder NUT had funded… Again in fine voice we all began singing again & waving our banners for the people of Chester. The general public were very supportive, on gentleman spoke to us at length & explained he to was sick of Chester University…he said “ He hasn’t seen any new house being built in ages & where ever you look it all student accommodation flats. He also stated “There just taking over”. The people of Chester were only to happy to sign our ‘Vote of No Confidence Petitions’… We arrived back to the school at 3pm.. Everybody had a fantastic time…. ROLL ON STRIKE No5!!