Hackney teachers vote unanimously for strike action if Academies get the go-ahead
Teachers from three Hackney secondaries voted unanimously to strike last week, if a decision is made to turn their schools into academies.
Governors at Stoke Newington School in Clissold Road, Clapton Girls Technology College in Laura Place and Haggerston School in Weymouth Terrace will make a decision next month whether or not to apply for academy status.
The government has invited all secondary schools to convert, with “outstanding” schools making the first move.
Although Haggerston School was rated “satisfactory” in an Ofsted inspection in May, it is considering changing its status because of its links to Mossbourne Academy.
Academies are independent schools, cut off from the local authority and its support services, which can change the curriculum, staff conditions, and sell off land or assets without any local accountability.
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When asked in a ballot whether they would be prepared to take strike action if their school was converted into an academy, at Clapton Girls Technology College 84 per cent voted for strike action, while at stoke Newington the figure was 97 per cent, and at Haggerston 81 per cent said yes.
Teachers and support staff fear academy status would threaten their pay and conditions and reduce staff and parents’ democratic representation on school governing bodies.
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There are also concerns that central support services will be cut and that companies will profit from providing schools with services now provided centrally by the Learning Trust.
Local NUT representative Mark Lushington said: “It is clear from these results that there is huge opposition amongst teachers to academy status, and our view is very simple - we want every local school to remain a good school with proper democratic accountability to the people of Hackney.”