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Lewisham: striking against 'academisation'
NUT union members from Sedgehill and the three Prendergast Federation schools, in Lewisham, south London, came out on strike on 12 February against the threat of forced 'academisation'.
After enthusiastic picket lines, with approval from many local residents and passers-by, the teachers congregated outside Prendergast College to lobby its board of governors, who were making their way inside to vote on an application for an academy order.
The usually quiet surroundings of Hilly Fields were quickly filled with shouts of "no ifs, no buts, academy status sucks!" from the large crowd. 150 students walked out of the college to join the protest.
Forty students then met at lunch time the next day to move the campaign forward. They wrote a petition letter to the governors and planned a protest for after half term.
Governors go ahead
Governors chose to ignore the clear display of opposition and voted to apply for an academy order. They have also refused to hold a ballot to measure the support for their proposals.
Lewisham NUT secretary Martin Powell-Davies is set to be the TUSC candidate for Lewisham West and Penge in May's general election. Nearly all the teachers on strike offered their support for Martin.
Academy status takes schools out of elected local authority control, which threatens the children's education as well as staff's pay, terms and conditions.
In The Socialist 18 February 2015:
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