Lively Coventry protest against forced academies
Protesting at the Department of Education, Coventry
A lively protest took place in Coventry earlier this evening against the government’s plans to force every school to become an academy.
The demonstration, held outside the Department of Education building and organised by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) was supported by teachers, parents, school and university students. It also drew support from members of UNISON, UNITE, GMB, CWU and Coventry TUC.
Jane Nellist with Sam Kempster
Jane Nellist, recently re-elected to the national executive of the NUT, chaired the protest explaining why her union was so opposed to the Tory privatisation plans.
Eileen Hunter, an NUT activist from Warwickshire spoke passionately about how these plans needs to be fought.
Sam, a student from Coventry University, spoke about the need to forge links, and brought solidarity greetings from Coventry students.
Hands off our Schools!
Parents also spoke about the effects that academisation has had on the education of their children.
Outside the Department of Education
Paul Hunt, assistant branch secretary of Coventry City UNISON, explained how the Tory proposal will be an attack on UNISON members in schools. He spoke in support of a co-ordinated fight back between the public sector unions pointing out that the government is weak – witness the resignation of IDS and the splits over Europe. The junior doctors have shown a lead, now is the time for a general strike in this country!
On the protest
All speakers showed that the fight must now be taken to the government.
Jane Nellist closed the protest explaining how her union conference this week must come out with clear plans for industrial action and that Coventry NUT would be continuing a campaign after Easter to defend education.