Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/539/6212

From The Socialist newspaper, 25 June 2008

"What do Airtours know about running a school?"

Teachers fight academy plans in Bolton

TEACHERS AT Withins school in Bolton took a second day of strike action on 18 June, over issues arising from their employers' plan to turn it into an 'academy' school.

Hugh Caffrey

Academy schools are largely controlled by so-called 'sponsors'. The government pays 20 million plus for the 'new' school. The sponsors can chip in 2 million if they want, but the government changed the rules so sponsors don't have to pay a penny!

Schools like Withins are literally handed over to the private sector with a 20 million property for their new owners who can control what is taught, how the school is run, and how staff and pupils are treated.

Withins' intended sponsors are the Church of England - not short of C of E schools already - and Anne and David Crossland formerly of travel firm Airtours! As one picket said: "What do Airtours know about running a school?"

Part of the government agenda when introducing academy schools was to weaken the unions' ability to negotiate terms and conditions for teaching and non-teaching staff. At Withins, neither the sponsors-to-be nor the local authority show any willingness to talk to staff about how their contracts will be affected "and so", said one picket, "we're striking in protest!"

Phil Roberts, NUT rep, explained: "We're currently employed by the local authority, and protesting against the decision to transfer our employment to another employer. We've based this on a strike in Westminster by Unison members who took action when threatened with privatisation, and this action was ruled legal by a court judgement. So the strike is about terms and conditions."

Students, parents and people from other unions joined striking teachers at the picket line. "Unison members are desperate to join us," continues Phil, "they're balloting this week. We're worried about what's happening to our colleagues in Hayward, where the school was closed without consultation. The first anyone knew about it was a sign on a lamp-post on the corner!

"That behaviour has unified staff, with Hayward balloting this week. We think maybe these academy sponsors are after not just knighthoods but sainthood. The Crosslands' other academy is in Middleton, which they renamed St Anne's!"

One picket explained the lunacy of the academy agenda: "At the moment the school faces towards the estate where most of our pupils come from. They love coming here, it's a stable place for them where they know the teachers.

"But if it becomes an academy, they're going to change which way the school faces so it's another catchment area! It means most of the pupils we have now simply won't be able to come. None of us want this, not the teachers, not the staff, not the pupils and not the pupils' parents." The day before the teachers' action, school students walked out in protest against the plans.

Support this strike which demands terms and conditions are guaranteed if staff are transferred. Oppose the academy agenda - if the government has 20 million bungs going for free, why can't it be spent to refurbish our schools as staff, parents and pupils see fit - without bringing in iffy private companies and religious organisations?

For more info, petitions etc. go to the campaign website: http://savewithins.exofire.net

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 25 June 2008:

Prices up, Wages down...Summer of action needed!

Workers' battles win results: Tankers drivers' success upsets bosses

Council workers striking back


Socialist Party editorial

Editorial: Summer of discontent?

PCS union sends letter of solidarity to Unison

Campaign for a new workers' party: Conference - Sunday 29 June, 11am - 5pm


Unison Conference 2008

Unison conference 2008: Fighting to reclaim the union for its members

Unison Service Group Executives - socialists elected

National Shop Stewards Network Conference

Fighting, democratic unions not witch hunts


Socialist Party campaigns

Thousands show their hatred for racism

Student unions can be pushed into action


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Review: False 'gods' of a failing system


International socialist news and analysis

Zimbabwe: Mugabe's militias crush his political opponents

Afghanistan - paying the price of western occupation

Summit fails to halt runaway oil prices

Britain: No.1 arms dealer


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Cut throat competition threatens NHS

"With polyclinics you're just a number"

Stop this sell-off!


Origins of the Labour Party

'Old' Labour - born out of workers' struggles


Socialist Party workplace news

Brighton bus drivers match inflation

Teachers fight academy plans in Bolton

Union news in brief

Usdaw election


 

Home   |   The Socialist 25 June 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Bolton:

triangleAnother victory against NHS privatisation

triangleBolton hospital workers strike

trianglePresidents Club sexism scandal: what you thought

triangleBolton council gives 300k to solicitors while making swingeing cuts

triangleProtests against children's centre closures in Bolton

Teachers:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

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

triangleIlford: parents and teachers unite against school cuts

School:

triangleLabour votes to abolish academies and private schools

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

9/10/19

Caerphilly

Attacks on Caerphilly waste management workers

9/10/19

PCS

BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory

9/10/19

York

York freshers success

9/10/19

Leeds

'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

9/10/19

Health

Huge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure

9/10/19

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest: mobilisation needed to defend abortion rights

9/10/19

Socialism

Socialism 2019: why I'm going... and why you should too!

9/10/19

Socialist Party

Best way to fight back? Join the Socialist Party

9/10/19

Socialism

Socialism: The alternative to capitalist austerity, low pay and crisis

9/10/19

Unison

Unison's retired members reflect growing anger

9/10/19

RMT

Vote for socialist fighter Jared Wood in RMT elections

9/10/19

Equity

Equity manifesto lays out anti-austerity model for arts

9/10/19

Birmingham

Birmingham HS2 protest against bosses' attacks on trade union organisation

9/10/19

Royal Mail

Vote yes to Royal Mail strike action to take on the bullying bosses

9/10/19

Usdaw

Sainsbury's strikers win

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999