Kimberley School two-day strike against academy status

Trade unionists and students joined striking teachers on vibrant NUT pickets at Kimberley School in Broxtowe, Nottinghamshire. 


Over 30 people packed on to the picket lines on each day of the strike action, including local Labour Councillors. Members of Unison and other trade unions joined the picket lines in solidarity and support from the passing public was tremendous.

Cllr Andrea Oates said:

“It’s important that schools stay within the local authority family of schools and don’t become academies. Also this isn’t just about Kimberley we are also fighting academy status in other schools in Broxtowe.”

A meeting of strikers was held after the picket and following serious debate members resolved unanimously to escalate the action in the event of the school management failing to engage in any form of serious consultation about the proposal to move to academy status.

Below local Labour Councillors Andrea Oates and Andy Cooper explain why they support the striking teachers.



Nottinhamshire NUT said they had “asked the Governors to delay the decision until after the exam period as we felt it was not allowing time to focus on our priorities, but despite our concerns they have forced us into this position at the most important time for our exam students.”

The strike at Kimberley reflects growing concern about what academy status represents at the school and beyond. The support from local councillors shows that academies are increasingly unpopular in Nottingham and the campaigners are demanding that new academies are halted, with all existing academies returned to local authority control.

The move to academy status is not part of a wider increase in funding for education in Nottinghamshire so campaigners are concerned that if there is extra money for Kimberley School it is likely to be at the expense of other schools and their students.

With a powerful strike and a mandate to escalate action, Nottinghamshire NUT have made it very clear where they stand on the issue of academies:

“The bottom line is that neither NUT members at Kimberley School nor Nottinghamshire Division NUT believe that academy status will enhance teaching and learning. It will not help children, it certainly won’t help retain teachers and it is not right for this community. Academy status is not wanted or needed at Kimberley School.”


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13 Responses to Kimberley School two-day strike against academy status

  1. Kimberley Parent says:


    Can you suggest a decent alternative?

  2. Jane says:

    Kimberley Parent: if you are concerned, you can at the moment take your concerns firstly to the governors and then to the local authority. There will be parent governors elected by the parents.

    If the school becomes an academy, you may not have any opportunity to go to governors and the local councillors won’t be able to help you. Do you really think that Mr Gove will be listening to your problems?

  3. Roder123 says:

    Sorry, but if this is case, why are your children still at this school?

  4. Kimberley Parent says:


    To address you points. I am now angry that you are effectively calling me a liar. If you really would lime I will name the teacher publicly AND the head of department who was also in the meeting! So I would respectful ask for an apology.

    Secondly. You speak of high staff turn over. My children have had a supply teachers a least once a day since they have been at the school. I keep a record. The current system is not a success.

    Stressed out teachers. Kimberly have far too many week teachers who at the first sign of anything summon senior staff to deal with it.

    You have children smoking and taking drugs, I saw some year 9 leaving school at 9.00 through the main gate!! Where the teachers that love these children then.

    Yes, continue to strike, I think it is time a spot light was aimed at this school and getting it in the news is a perfect way to do it.

    I await my apology.

  5. Teacher says:

    Kimberley Parent, I really doubt a teacher said that to you. Teachers definitely aren’t in the job for the money… they would do something else if that was the case.Teaching is not a well paid job. As parents you should support your children’s teachers like the teacher supports and loves your child. These academies have NOT been proven to raise the standards of children academic results. They are schools that the government are selling of for a quick buck (Typical Tory way), and are also justifying peoples wages in London for making changes. With rubbish pay and conditions the standard of teachers will definitely drop. Without protection for teachers it will cause a large staff turnover, disrupted school years and a low teacher morale. Ofsted are currently moving goal posts to achieve ‘good and outstanding’ and making it impossible for some schools to achieve this; which in turns stresses out head teachers and puts teachers in the firing line. The current pressure on teachers is causing a very low morale, do you really want a stressed out person teaching your children? Its not a good environment.

  6. Kimberley Parent says:

    Firstly Jane, Anger? I didn’t say I was angry. Secondly you say if all parents mounted a challenge, hmmmm maybe not all parents disagree with the plans.

    I truly believe that the teachers who are striking are doing it to protect their own “conditions”.

    I think there are too many teachers at Kimberley School that are coasting.

    In a meeting with a teacher recently I was told quite confidently that “I do not expect all of the children to take part in the lesson, I am happy for those who are not interested to sit quietly”

    What on earth happened to trying to engage the pupils with interesting lesson.

    Back to the strike action, If you work for a private company and they decide to change the structure you have a choice to stay and accept the changes or leave and work elsewhere.

    If the teachers who are striking do not want to work for an academy please feel free to resign and let somebody who is interested in teaching children, instead of standing on the curb, take their place.

  7. another kimberley parent says:

    Jane – protect future students from what? The evidence on academy schools is mainly based upon the old style labour academies which were brought in to help failing schools. Simply my going academy is not going to make the school better or worse. Some do well and some do not, there are reasons for both i imagine. why wasn’t this action taken months ago when all the rest of the notts county secondary schools went academy?

  8. Jane says:

    Of course, if all the parents mounted a challenge to the decision, then maybe the staff could avoid the strike! In particular if the Governors decision is made in the run up to exams it could be argued that no proper consultation has been made. Kimberley parent: perhaps your anger should be redirected at the cynicism of the governors in picking exactly the time which would put teachers in a moral dilemma: to safeguard current students or to protect future students.

  9. Jane says:

    In some cases, strike action has had the effect of changing the decision.

  10. Kimberley Parent says:

    Thank You for replying Jane.
    Do you believe that strike action will reverse the decision? I very much doubt it. Again it is the students that suffer. MAY actually suffer? Well it is now! My daughter begins her GCSEs next year and she is missing vital lessons, on days that she is in school she has supply teachers who have no clue what is going on (no offence meant). For goodness sake, this strike will not change the decision but it will change my children’s education.

  11. Jane says:

    Kimberley Parent: please talk to the teachers about why they are taking strike action. Teachers do not take such action lightly. The evidence is that your children’s education may actually suffer because the school becomes an academy. There is certainly absolutely no evidence that it will improve.

  12. Kimberley Parent says:

    Please stop punishing our children. The decision has been made, and supported by many. I doubt your strikes will change that decision. The only effect you are having is on our children who are rapidly losing respect for their teachers.

  13. Liam Conway says:

    Thanks for putting this up on the AAA website so quickly – very impressive. The two days of strike action were very well supported with over 30 on both days and a strike meeting of members agreeing unanimously to request more strike action over the coming weeks. Just to clarify it is not Nottingham NUT organising the action. Nottingham is the division for the City wheras Kimberley School is in the county, which is Nottinghamshire Division/South Notts Association. Many thanks once again for the excellent support.

    Liam Conway, Joint Secretary, Notts NUT

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