‘Standing up’ to a bullying employer

Teachers on strike at Alec Reed Academy where standards have fallen since it became an academy
Teachers on strike at Alec Reed Academy where standards have fallen since it became an academy

TEACHERS were on strike at Alec Reed Academy in Northolt, west London for the third day yesterday, with three more days of strike action planned for next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Parent Trudy Bees told News Line: ‘I definitely support the teachers. Since it became an academy, this school has gone right down and the grades have really deteriorated.’

NASUWT Executive member Shane Johnschwagar said: ‘Our members are taking a very strong and principled stand, fighting for a workplace that delivers a real education by trusted professionals. Members at this school feel the way the school is managed distorts proper educational priorities, for instance, teachers are given very strict criteria in the marking policy which prevents them from exercising professional judgement.

‘Also, in this school, there is no right to a work/life balance. In the headteacher’s own words, teachers should work until midnight and on weekends and holidays. Unless we get a meeting with meaningful talks there will be three days of further strike action next week.’

Year 12 students Stuart, Rohan and Kumal said: ‘These are good teachers and they don’t deserve to be treated like this. They are being made to do extra work and there is a massive turnover of staff, which is really disruptive. There should be no private companies in education.’

Phil Pardoe, NUT Regional Officer, said: ‘We are proud of our members here. It takes a hell of a lot of courage to stand up against a bullying employer and go on strike in such numbers. NUT and NASUWT teachers are out, the strike is solid and we’ve also got support of the parents. The employer’s refusal to talk or recognise the unions is increasingly unsustainable.’