Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Rugby Greens support Teachers strikes and urge parents to demand a say over Academies

PRESS RELEASE – 01/10/2013

Recent protest by local parents in Rugby to defend their school from Michael Gove's Academy plans.
Rugby Green Party are supporting the teachers strikes today as we believe that teachers have been given no choice by Michael Gove and the CONDEM Government.

Steve Wright (Rugby Green Party Spokesperson) says” We believe teachers are standing up to defend the rights of children to a decent education.”

“Over £9bn has been spent on the academy school programme while buildings decay and LEA's lose money.”

“Local schools like Newbold Riverside Primary School have been given to a private company based in London on a 25 year lease – without the agreement of parents, teachers and the local community”

“Other schools in Rugby are being forced down the same uncertain academy route.”

“Rugby Greens would urge parents to come together to support teachers defending their children’s education and also visit the ‘Rugby Academy Watch’ Face book site https://www.facebook.com/rugbyparentsagainstacademies that is updated daily and provides information to parents about academies and their rights to a say”

Back ground information
Cllr Will Duckworth, the Green Party's deputy leader (and lead Euro candidate for the West Midlands in 2014), will be speaking to striking teachers in Stourbridge on Tuesday during their one day action over pensions, pay and conditions.

Will Duckworth said: "I was a mathematics teacher for 30 years. Teachers care about children and only take strike action as a last resort."

Michael Gove's continuing attacks on teachers pensions, pay and conditions of service are demoralising the profession on which we all rely for educating the next generation.

Forcing schools to become academies began under Labour. Academies are setting school against school, introducing competition instead of cooperation.

The pressure for heads to bully their staff has also meant increases in stress and anxiety amongst teachers.

We need to work with trade unionists and sympathetic groups and individuals to tell this government that we need to save our vital services and keep them in public ownership.


The NUT and NASUWT will hold a strike rally in Birmingham, 11am to 12pm on Tuesday, at ICC, Broad Street, B1 2EA.

The Green Party now has 18 council seats, on 9 councils, across the West Midlands, 4th behind the Liberal Democrats.

Excerpts from the Green Party's 2010 general election manifesto on education:

- Move gradually to smaller class sizes by spending a further £500 million on 15,000 more teachers to get classes down to an average of 20 pupils by the end of the Parliament.
- Phase in the abolition of student tuition fees in higher education.
- Move towards ending the need for private education by creating a programme of voluntary assimilation of private schools into the state sector. Schools that remain in the private sector would have charitable status removed and would pay all relevant taxes, such as VAT.
- Phase out City Academies and Trust Schools. It is wrong to allow business and other outside organisations to have too great an influence over schools.

For more information, Rugby Green Party recommend parents visit the Local Schools Network website - http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/