TEACHERS on a second day of strike action at the Alec Reed Academy in Northolt, west London yesterday, were joined in support outside the school gates by parents and students.
The joint strike action by NUT and NASUWT members is against ‘a climate of fear that is being set here, with excessive workload and the constant threat of being subjected to a “support programme” which is totally unsupportive,’ a teacher told News Line.
Nick Grant, Ealing NUT Secretary, told teachers, parents and pupils on the picket line: ‘Teachers here are not given basic respect.
‘Instead, they are being treated like cans of beans, pushed here and there. But worse, the children are treated not as individuals but as “level this” and “level that”. We are so grateful to receive the support from parents here today.’
NASUWT executive member Shane Johnschwagar said: ‘Thanks to all the parents. To have parental support means such a lot to members.
‘Members will feel proud of the stand they are taking here today for the rest of their lives. We want change at Alec Reed.’
Parents told News Line that they are really worried that the problems at the school are harming their children’s education.
Emma Neenan said: ‘We completely support the teachers. My daughter, who is in Year 4, has had six different teachers since September. It’s so unsettling and her grades have dropped. She wanted to be out here with us today.’
Parent Fay Francis said: ‘They are more concerned about grey socks than what I call bonding with a child. We support the teachers 100%. Our children are in primary and I refuse to send them to high school here until there’s a change.’
Parent Sue Davies said: ‘We were alerted to the problems when we received a leaflet outside the school from the NUT regarding concerns over our children’s education and we went to a meeting where ex-teachers spoke up about various problems.
‘It’s only when we get together and hear each other’s stories that we realise how big the problem is. My daughter is in Year 10 and she’s had ten different science teachers since September, one of whom was a PE teacher, who gave her a work sheet.’
Students also spoke out in support of their teachers. Mustafa, aged 16, said: ‘The teachers here are the greatest. It’s a shame so many are leaving at Easter. We need them to stay. I’m against the privatisation of schools.’
Jessica, from Year 13, said: ‘Privatisation takes money away from the working class and gives it to people that don’t need it. I definitely support the teachers, who are snowed under with paperwork.’
Jordan Scully from Year 12, said: ‘I very strongly support the teachers. What’s happening has been a long time coming. The teachers are right to strike because the management aren’t treating them fairly.
‘The bottom line is, education is a right, not a privilege and it shouldn’t be privatised.’