Teachers, support staff and parents picketed Montgomery Primary school in Birmingham on Tuesday morning against the proposal to turn their school into an academy.
60 people joined the picket line. NASUWT, NUT and GMB members were on strike and the school was closed.
The school is in one of the most deprived areas in Birmingham and is one of the schools that has been told it is on Michael Gove’s list of ‘underperforming’ schools. In reality, like most of the schools being targeted, it is an improving school working in difficult conditions.
The mood on the picket line was fantastic. Staff and parents stood together in determination to save their school. Popular children’s songs were re-worded to include opposition to academies – see videos at the bottom of this report.
At a meeting after the picket parents complained that the school had given parents little information. Some felt that the assumption was that they were not unable to understand, so they didn’t need to know. The head is organising meetings with sponsors including ARK. People at the meeting wondered what Hedge Fund managers might know about the education of the children in Sparkbrook.
The parents at the meeting took the opportunity to get organised. There is a leaflet planned to go into the school on Wednesday. This will be in several languages. Other initiatives include a ballot to be conducted at the gate as they did at Colley Lane primary, a lobby of the next governors meeting and a public meeting.
The staff agreed that they are prepared to take more strike action to save the school.
A vote was taken at the meeting and everyone voted to oppose the academy proposal.