An incredibly powerful turnout across all three Prendergast schools and Sedgehill, for the strike against academisation, included teachers from both (NUT and NASUWT), support staff (GMB), parents and students.
A large contingent then went up to the Leatherseller’s offices in the City of London to demonstrate and hand in a letter of opposition.
A massive thank you to everyone who participated and those of you couldn’t be there but supported online.
On the lunchtime of Wednesday 4th March, students from Prendergast Hillyfields, organised a highly effective and peaceful one hour strike and demonstration opposing the academisation of Prendergast schools.
Some enterprising Year 8’s also took everyone by surprise sporting home made tee-shirts with what is surely becoming the favourite student slogan “We are not Sheppard’s Sheep”.
Hilly Fields students have also produced a massively inspiring video “We say No to Academies because ..”. Go watch it.
If you could email the school before the end of Wednesday supporting the Strike, it would be much appreciated: Here’s some suggested text.
I am a parent of a child in Year [ ] at Prendergast [ ], Lewisham. I am aware that staff at the school will be taking strike action this week in relation to the recent application for an Academy Order by the Board of Governors of the Leathersellers’ Federation.
I believe that the staff at the school do an excellent job in often challenging situations. I regret that they have been put in the position where strike action is necessary to voice their concerns about the proposal to convert to Academy status.
I wish to register my support for the staff at the school and call for a full staff ballot on the issue of Academy conversion for all staff across the Federation, so that further strike action can be avoided.
It can be emailed to:
We have provided some model letters to get the consultation the LeatherSellers have so far refused us.
Feel free to add, amend or write your own – the most important thing is to WRITE
cc in the appropriate school
The Prendergast page has a list of local councillors in the wards surrounding the schools.
Especially if you live in the wards surrounding the school, it is important that you write objecting. If you don’t know which ward you live in, you can look it up at: http://councilmeetings.lewisham.gov.uk/mgFindMember.aspx? and this will tell you who your councillor is.
There is also a list of Councillors on the Who to Write to page
Even if you live outside of these wards, please still write, pressure from ALL councillors will help.
The model letter can be found on the Documents section of the site, in word (new and old formats).
Feel free to add, amend or write your own – the most important thing is to WRITE.
If you get a response, please let us know, either through the contact form or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the end of Wednesday’s packed SAiL meeting at the St.Mary’s Centre, we read out a summary of suggested actions. Here they are:
- To encourage each school to develop its own campaigning group of parents/staff/students – and for a rep from each group to meet together as the SAiL commitee to plan the overall campaign.
- Students from across the schools are planning their own activities and are building links across the 3 Federation schools.
- Volunteers are needed to leaflet on school gates so that we can reach parents and answer the misinformation from the Federation.
- Volunteers are also needed for leafleting stations to get our message out about the wider threat to education in Lewisham too.
- We will also run street stalls targeted to meet parents – e.g on the Honor Oak estate.
- We’ll be turning the longer reply to the Working Party into shorter snappier leaflets to explain our arguments.
- A poster for home and shop windows is being produced so that we can show the strength of opposition across the community.
- Similarly, campaign badges to wear.
- Parents will be lobbying councillors to insist that they back the call for a parental ballot – like Brighton Council did over Hove Park.
- We will launch an online petition, also asking for a full parental ballot over whether or not to support the academy plans.
- We will be setting up a SAiL campaign website to go alongside the facebook page as a source of information.
- We are looking for volunteeers who can help put together a campaign video for the website, youtube, social media.
- Thursday 5th March , ask SAiL supporters to stand with NUT/NASUWT/GMB staff on the picket lines from 7.30 am – and bring your own banners and placards to add to union ones.
- After the planned cafe breakfast meetings, join a delegation to go up to Mansion House for a photo-shoot and protest outside the Leathersellers Comapny headquarters in the City of London.
- If the Council/Governors refuse to support a parental ballot, consider if there are ways of organising one ourselves.
- Make plans for a march to defend education – just as the community did to defend the NHS in Lewisham.
- IF YOU CAN HELP, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH – USING THE CONTACT US FORM
On Thursday 12th a magnificent and very well support strike by teachers at all Prendergast schools and a walk out by students also unfortunately saw the the Board of Governors rubber stamp the report of the Working Party on Status and Governance.
If they had hoped that releasing a report before the half-term would see the opposition lose momentum, they are be sorely mistaken.
Since that day:
- students have continued to organise and protest
- a fantastic meeting of over 70 met and discussed the way forward on Wednesday 25th Feb.
- A full 12 page document countering the arguments in the working part report has been produced
- a leaflet has been produced
- teachers will again be taking action on Thursday 5th March
- students are planning more action