Staff at three Newham schools to strike over academisation plans
PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 February 2018
Staff at three Newham schools are set to take part in a simultaneous strike against academisation plans.
Teachers and support workers at Avenue Primary School will be taking part in their seventh day of strike action on Thursday, while those at Cumberland School will be involved in their third walkout.
For staff at Kier Hardie Primary School, it will be their first strike against plans to join the Agate Momentum Trust.
The school, in Robertson Road, Canning Town, was due to join the Agate Momentum Trust in January. However, opposition to the plans saw the start date pushed back until July.
The trust currently consists of Hallsville and Scott Wilkie primary schools.
Keir Hardie’s National Education Union (NEU) school rep, Bethan Phillips, said: “None of us want to strike but we have been left with no choice.
“We sympathise with the working families in our community who will be impacted by this, but we feel the impact of academisation will be worse. We are doing this for the children we teach and care deeply about and for all those who will come after them.
“Keir Hardie is a good school and we believe it should remain accountable to the community and run by the community, with the safety net of the local authority to support it.”
Staff from all three schools are set to join together at a rally in Romford Road, Stratford, on Thursday morning after picketing outside their individual schools.
Those at Avenue Primary School, in Meanley Road, Manor Park, are against the school joining the EKO Multi-Academy Trust - currently consisting of three Newham primary schools and a special school - and have launched a crowdfunding page to raise £25,000 for a judicial review.
Meanwhile, staff at Cumberland School, in Oban Close, Plaistow, are against joining the Community Schools Trust, which currently manages Forest Gate Community School.
Parents and staff from the three striking schools are also planning to lobby councillors ahead of the full council meeting at East Ham Town Hall on Monday, February 26.
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