NUT members to strike at Downhills Primary School, Haringey, London - press release
21 May 2012
NUT members will be taking strike action tomorrow (Tuesday 22 May) over the proposal by the DfE to force Downhills School to become a sponsored academy.
Until this intervention by the DfE the school was popular with pupils and parents. The parents have been engaged in a very active campaign to retain Downhills as a Local Authority maintained school.
There have been protests and demonstrations aimed, not only to convince the Government that this intervention is unnecessary and unwanted by the local population, but also to encourage the Local Authority to more actively support the school and to issue a strong statement indicating that it wishes to continue to keep Downhills within the Haringey family of schools.
The strike action being taken by NUT members is largely supported by the community and its purpose is to bring to the attention of the wider population in Haringey, the Local Authority and the Government that this type of intervention has no place in the running of education.
The NUT has been engaged in talks with the Local Authority to try to encourage leaders of the Council to be more proactive in seeking to maintain Downhills School. The Union is disappointed that the Local Authority so far has only been luke warm in its support.
Christine Blower, General Secretary, National Union of Teachers said: “Parents, teachers and governors at Downhills Primary School have continually stated they have no wish to become an academy. Forcing academy status on schools has nothing whatsoever to do with standards but everything to do with the break up of our education system. The free schools and academies programme is neither wanted nor needed. Michael Gove is simply playing fast and loose with tax payers’ money and the future education of generations”.
Tim Harrison, NUT London Regional Secretary said: “The interests of Downhills School are best served by it continuing to be a local community school supported by governors from the area and maintained by the Local Authority. There is very little support for the Government’s intervention to seek to impose an unwanted sponsor and the school becoming an academy. The Government would do well to listen to representatives of the community, parents and teachers and encourage the Local Authority to speak out in support of the school and to provide assistance to enable it to recover from the damage done by this unnecessary intervention and continue to improve as a community school”.