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Education Workers

The Education Workers Network (EWN) is made up of Solidarity Federation members who work in the education sector, whether that's schools, FE or HE.

Education round up 27 July 2012

(Un)Qualified teachers wanted.
While the eyes of most people, both critical and uncritical, are drawn to the Olympics, secretary of state for Education, Michael Gove, has introduced possibly his most significant and destructive piece of reform.

Academies no longer need to employ qualified teachers to teach lessons. Gove heralds this as 'freedom' for academies to employ 'the best for the job'. So while trying to raise the profile of teaching, he's doing the exact opposite. But this is a smokescreen. This is nothing to do with profile, or improving education, or getting 'the best for the job'. It has everything to do with driving down pay and conditions.

Education round up 12 July 2012

Bournville School on strike next week. Worthing High out this week. Noel Park School, Haringey out.

Bournville School Strike
Bournville School in south Birmingham is set to face two days of strike action next week over plans to convert the school to 'foundation' school status. Workers at the school had successfully defeated plans to force an academy conversion less than a year ago after threats of joint strike action and a community campaign.

The latest action is set for Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th July in "protest at the failure of the school to enter into meaningful consultation regarding proposed conversion to Foundation status and in protest at the change of employer with resultant threat to terms and conditions."

Choccy's Education round-up 2 July 2012

A few regional stories wound me up this week. Great Yarmouth academy long days. Waltham Forest strike ballot. Islington academy axes free meals. University pulls unpaid job advertisement.

ACADEMY SUPER-LONG DAYS

"The devil will make work for idle hands to do."

The idle hands in question? PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN. Luckily brains-of-britain Gove, has a plan to keep these TERRORS off the streets so they don't grow up to be nasty ASBOs or some thing terrible like that. Keep them in school until 6pm everyday. Every fucking day. 6pm. Every day. Not punishment. Not detention. Just a normal school day proposed at Great Yarmouth's Greenacre Primary School under its academy plans.

Sussex University outsourcing update

  • More demonstrations. Tuesday's demonstration happened despite Unison emailing its members saying the demo was cancelled.
  • University Vice-Chancellor Michael Farthing bullshitted his way through open staff meetings (reports from staff: 1, 2). A student was physically removed by Head of Security Roger Morgan. Outside contractors were used for security, which suggests management know they've lost the trust of the in-house security staff they're outsourcing.

300 staff and students demonstrate at Sussex Uni

Staff and students rallied against planned privatisation of over 10% of campus jobs in Library Square this lunchtime. Staff had come equipped to disrupt a planned 'bidders meeting' with many carrying airhorns, only to discover management had moved the meeting to the Amex stadium across the road. With security and conference staff amongst those facing outsourcing, suggests management don't feel able to hold such meetings on campus without the details leaking out and the threat of disruption.

Academy workplace issues - a worker's voice

In Jan 2011 my school became an academy, as set out by the government that outstanding schools could become academies. As a staff we were duped into this. There was some consultation with unions, but as previous headships broke the unions in the school with their “divide and rule” regime, consultation was limited. We were sold the lie that we were now free of the thrall of the LEA, HMI inspections and, due to an outstanding status, free from OFTSED inspections for at least 5 years. This has not been the case , in fact being taken from LEA control now subjects us to far more stringent work practices, where union guidelines are not applicable or at the very least are bent to suit the requirements of management. Also being out of LEA control means if the school hits any financial difficulties, it will be teaching staff who suffer.

Fighting Academies: Bournville School, Birmingham

Bournville School, Birmingham. Stories of successful attempts at defeating academy coversions seem to be thin on the ground at the moment, with over 1,200 new or conversion academy schools being created since Conservatives/LibDems came into power, so it was inspiring in autumn 2011 to hear that staff and parents at Bournville School in Birmingham defeated governors plans to convert the school into an academy. After a forceful parent campaign against the conversion, and the threat of united strike action by NASUWT and NUT the school's governors shelved plans to convert to an Academy, for at least a year. This means the fight is not yet over though this was a huge victory and an example to all other schools fighting academy conversions.

Fighting Academies: Oasis Community Learning

Oasis Community Learning, a christian educational trust currently running 14 academies in England, is typical of the theological style of industrial relations promoted by the cheerleaders of the Academy sector. Back in November, in the middle of the school year, 13 teachers at its Media City (Salford) Academy were sacked, sparking 5 days of strikes as well as a walk out by year 10 and 11 pupils in the run up to christmas. Ultimately, the campaign to defend the teachers did not win.

Fighting Academies: Montgomery School Public Meeting

On the 26th of January in Sparkbrook, Birmingham- Montgomery Primary School  held a public meeting at a local mosque. The meeting was well attended by the local community, parents staff and trade unions involved in the fight to stop Montgomery Primary School becoming an academy. The speakers included Rich Hatcher from the Alliance Against Birmingham Academies and speakers from all the trade unions involved in the campaign (NUT,NASUWT and GMB) as well as parents. The speakers made clear that the academy programme is an ideological attempt to further privatise education.

Education's Trojan Horses: thoughts of an ex-academy worker.

Some thoughts of an academy school worker in England.

I’ve recently taught in an academy school for over two years, and in that time I saw a lot of things that have angered me as a worker and as someone who values education, and made even more apparent to me the need for a radical overhaul in education that can only be achieved by revolutionary change in society as a whole.

Fighting Academies: Downhills Primary School

Downhills Primary School, in Tottenham, North London, is fighting a strong community campaign against attempts to turn it into a sponsored academy.
Participation in the campaign has been huge. “I haven’t seen anything like it since the eighties,” said one mother looking at a packed meeting of over 600 people.
In January, more than a thousand people marched through Tottenham in support of the four Haringey primaries which are under threat of being handed over to academy sponsors, including teachers from all over London. They have shown support to other schools across the country which are rejecting academy status.

FAQ: Opposing Academies and “Free” Schools

What are Academies?

The academy schools program began in 2000 under New Labour. They are state sector schools run independent of local authority control and with a private sponsor. Less than two ago, there were less than 300 academies in England, but the Academies Act 2010 sought to expand the number of academies and there are now over 1600. Some  schools that are deemed 'outstanding' by Ofsted have been ‘fast-tracked’. It is thought that many 'outstanding schools may not even need a sponsor, and might be able to opt straight out of local authority control regardless.

Conference: defeating cuts in education

THIS Saturday (29th May 2010), 12pm – 6pm in Brighton. Join the Facebook event. Venue to be confirmed very soon here and on Facebook.

As a new government is getting ready to attack the living conditions of ordinary people, students and education workers have already had experiences with cuts – and how we can stop them. We will try to draw the lessons from the strikes, occupations and other forms of direct action taken in HE and FE over the last months. How can we build effective alliances between students and workers? How can we act in solidarity across education establishments? How can we organise from below to defend education?

National conference with talks and workshops, open to students and education workers.

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If you are an education worker in London, please contact the LEWN from the contact form.

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Newsletters

EW Issue 8: Academy Special The latest issue of Education Worker, the EWN's bulletin is out, with an Academies Special! We lift the lid on what's happening in schools and academies in particular: what they are, what they do, why they are a problem and what should be done about it. EW#8 can be downloaded from the site, or ask your nearest SolFed local.   (post) (pdf)
Education Worker #7 is out! (post) (pdf)
Education Worker #6 out now! (post) (pdf)
Education Worker #5 (post) (pdf)
Education Worker #4 In this issue: The University Funding Freeze ; Alternative G20 at University of East London ; Roundup ... University and Colleges Roundup ; H.E. Pay: Don't be Fooled ; Break with Partnership (post) (pdf)
Education Worker #3 In this issue: Migrant Cleaners ; Confronting Inequality ; Double Whammy for the Low Paid ; Unions Derecognised at Nottingham Trent ; Hera to Zero ; What we Mean by Direct Democracy (post) (pdf)
Education Worker #2 In this issue: Bullying ; HERA Lessons ; What we think of... ; Pensions ; Work Councils ; Academy Schools (post) (pdf)
Education Worker #1 In this issue: HERA ; What we think of... ; Crichton Campus ; Union Partnership ; Health & Safety  (post) (pdf)

Our leaflets

EWN constitution
(pdf)
All Out For Pensions
An unbranded poster designed to promote the upcoming pension strikes. (pdf)
Education struggle are our struggles (EWN)
Generic leaflet that can be given out to education workers, students, parents, or members of the public.
EWN Leaflet for J30
An EWN leaflet designed to be given out in the run-up to J30 or on picket lines on the day. (pdf)
ALL OUT FOR JUNE 30th! - leaflet for edu workers, parents, and students
A leaflet designed to begin a conversation with education workers, but also students and parents, about the June 30th pension strikes. (pdf)


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