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Posted on 8 February 2018 at 16:24 GMT

Newham: teachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

Part of the picket line at the Cumberland School anti-academy strike, 8.2.18, photo by James Ivens

Part of the picket line at the Cumberland School anti-academy strike, 8.2.18, photo by James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

James Ivens, East London Socialist Party

Teachers hit back at management's privatisation drive with another solid strike at Cumberland School in east London on 8 February.

Around 40 strikers and supporting parents picketed the Newham secondary's front gate.

Teachers told us they felt positive about the campaign against becoming a quasi-privatised 'academy'. Parents led chants of "Whose school? Our school!" while passing traffic honked in support.

This latest stoppage took place ahead of a combined march against academisation by the borough's three striking schools.

The night before, parents and teachers in the neighbouring borough of Redbridge also lobbied Highland Primary governors to oppose academisation.

A workforce-led campaign of industrial action beat academisation in Lewisham, south London, with the Socialist Party playing a leading role. East London Socialist Party is hosting an open meeting to discuss how teachers, parents and students can do the same again.

Speakers include Louise Cuffaro, the new National Education Union branch secretary. Louise, a primary teacher and Socialist Party member, helped launch the borough's campaign with strike action at Avenue School.

Louise also addressed the Cumberland picket line, explaining academisation only serves "big business interests."

Councillors in Labour-run Newham continue to feel the pressure of community anger on this issue. It has forced all three right-wing Labour candidates in Avenue School's Manor Park ward to come out against academisation.

But where Labour councillors stay silent - in particular if they have connections to academy trusts - parents and community campaigners will feel justified in standing candidates against them.

The Socialist Party spoke to express solidarity with the struggle. Five pickets bought copies of the Socialist.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 8 February 2018 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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Newham:

triangleNewham campaign set up against council cuts and tax hikes

triangleSecret cuts meeting couldn't prevent protests in Newham

triangleStop Newham Labour's cuts and gentrification

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Stop gentrification - Save Queen's Market

triangleEast London school strikes against academisation continue

Teachers:

triangleSchools: union oversight needed to end chaos in provision under coronavirus

triangleCarlisle election meeting: Education - time to make the mega-rich and corporations pay

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleMoney doesn't make up for cuts - education unions must organise for funding and against Tory attacks

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Privatisation:

triangleNHS supply chain worker: privatisation has cut equipment quantity and quality

triangleUnder the microscope: socialist coronavirus news in brief

Schools:

triangleCoronavirus and school closures: what needs to be done now

National Education Union:

triangleAnti-academy strikes kick off in Redbridge

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