Copland Community School in Brent, London, took an unprecedented fifth day of strike action on 14 January and remain solid in their determination to stop the ARK academy chain taking over their school in Wembley. The Interim Executive Board (IEB) placed in charge of the school continues to refuse to take part in any negotiations let alone even reply to communications from the unions.
Hank Roberts, Immediate Past national President of ATL said, “The IEB have yet to respond to an offer of further talks nor [are] even yet able to respond to staff and parents’ demand to be given a proposed timetable for the proposed conversion! The massive strength of feeling is because staff know that this is really about privatisation and Gove intends to allow those running academies like ARK to make profit out of state education. Their intention is to impose a third world education system in England. Our intention is to continue and increase the level of resistance to stop them”.
Jean Roberts, Joint Brent Teachers Association NUT Secretary said, “By standing firm staff have won on a collective grievance over job titles and also, through the threat of further strike action, the threat of compulsory redundancies for teachers has been withdrawn. At the well-attended joint unions meeting last week the staff were upbeat and fully behind the campaign to defeat ARK.”
Leaflets have been handed out outside Copland for pupils to take home to parents explaining why action is taking place. The NUT and NASUWT are united in the action being taken and discussion is under way on what further action is needed to widen the campaign. ■