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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 July 2021

Derby academies closed by strikes against brutal cuts and changes

Lees Brook picket line, photo Charlie Taylor

Lees Brook picket line, photo Charlie Taylor   (Click to enlarge)

Ian Hunter, Derby Socialist Party

Teachers, members of the National Education Union (NEU) at two Derby schools - Lees Brook Academy and Merrill Academy - were out on strike for a full day on 1 July. Both schools became part of Nottingham-based Archway Learning Trust in February 2021.

Archway Trust has embarked upon plans for a brutal 'reorganisation' at both schools, which will involve job cuts, replacement of qualified teachers with less qualified staff, increases in class sizes, and changes to curriculum that will mean a reduction in student choice in modern languages, arts, music, PE, drama and humanities. In addition, pastoral care and counselling provision will be severely curtailed.

NEU officers, reps and staff say they have been "ignored and frozen out by a distant trust." Archway Trust refuses to budge and negotiate further and has not acknowledged the dispute. Even so, management at both schools announced closure for the day.

I was welcomed on the picket line at Lees Brook School, where around 30 staff carried placards and banners, and distributed leaflets. There was a general mood of enthusiasm and determination for their fight. Two further strikes have been planned for 13-14 July.

This is undoubtedly an important and necessary fight. Education trusts are cutting costs and jobs, and attacking employment conditions throughout the country in order to increase profits, pay large salaries to executives, and bully staff into submission at the expense of employees, pupils and the local community.

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In The Socialist 7 July 2021:


What we think

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The Struggle for World Socialism

The struggle for world socialism


NHS

Fight is on to save our NHS

NHS workers' protests


News

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Manchester death rate caused by deprivation

Bristol: Police to blame for protest violence


Workplace news

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Safety campaign in DWP: What has happened to our ballot?

Striking Brush workers continue to protest 'fire and rehire'

Striking Ealing parking attendants rally outside council

Derby academies closed by strikes against brutal cuts and changes

Oaks Park strikers rally


Socialist history

Terry Fields MP, Prisoner DV 3695 - The jailing of 'poll tax' rebel and Militant


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Israel: Hospital ancillary workers strike over pay parity and workload


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Road closures: Hackney residents have not been consulted


Reviews

The story of Joe Clough - Britain's first black bus driver

Exhibition: What next for the statue of slave trader, Edward Colston?

TV - Statue wars: one summer in Bristol


 

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Related links:

Derby:

triangleDerby Toyota plant Covid crisis

triangleLancashire workers' strike shows the way to fight aerospace cuts and job losses

triangleSelling the Socialist: we're back!

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triangleDerby Socialist Party: Fight to save jobs

Strikes:

triangleCollege strikes continue into third week

triangleOaks Park pickets vote for more strikes to defeat bullies

triangleWeetabix - workers have had enough

triangleEast Midlands rail strikes continue

Cuts:

triangleHackney: Stop closure of children's centres

triangleNational Education Union deputy general secretary election

triangleNottingham: Punish Labour for cruel cuts

Academies:

triangleBrighton: Moulsecoomb strike against academisation

triangleOrganise to oppose Tory academisation plans

Schools:

triangleSchools funding crisis fails vulnerable children

Education:

triangleSocialist Party in Education: Public zoom meeting

National Education Union:

triangleNEU deputy general secretary election

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