Industry focus: 'Phantom Ofsteds' at a London Academy

An interview with ‘Mike', a London education worker, about the phenomenon of ‘phantom Ofsted' inspections, casualisation and mass dismissals of agency workers.

In London there is a local authority which claims to be the richest in Europe. Despite this, one-third of children in the borough live below the poverty line. In contrast, half of school age children in the locality are privately educated. This means that students left in the state system are overwhelmingly from the local estates. A sizeable percentage of them come from recently settled immigrant families. It is against this backdrop that this particular council began a program which has seen nearly all of its comprehensive secondary schools converted into academies.

Conference: defeating cuts in education

THIS Saturday (29th May 2010), 12pm – 6pm in Brighton. Join the Facebook event. Venue to be confirmed very soon here and on Facebook.

As a new government is getting ready to attack the living conditions of ordinary people, students and education workers have already had experiences with cuts – and how we can stop them. We will try to draw the lessons from the strikes, occupations and other forms of direct action taken in HE and FE over the last months. How can we build effective alliances between students and workers? How can we act in solidarity across education establishments? How can we organise from below to defend education?

National conference with talks and workshops, open to students and education workers.

Education workers under austerity

Chris, a library worker at Queen Mary Uni

Over the summer Queen Mary University  (QMUL) library workers have been organising in defence of jobs and services, in reponse to restructuring plans that will see a loss of 26 out of 82 jobs.
 
The majority of the affected workers are part-time and the nature of the workplace means that they are also term-time only workers. Management release the plans in July.  This meant the majority of the affected staff were on leave, a clear act of discrimination against part-timers and those with child care commitments. University bosses clearly designed this to prevent workers from effectively responding, resisting and seeking solidarity from the students, who were also off campus.
 

Solidarity with Queen Mary's Staff and Students

The North and South London Locals of the Solidarity Federation extend our solidarity to the workers at Queen Mary University. With the threat of redundancies across campus, workers have become energised, linked up with students, and exhibited a growing degree of organisation. In response, university management have suspended the Queen Mary UNISON branch secretary on trumped up disciplinary charges.

While the Solidarity Federation recognises the power of the union rests not in its officials, but in an active and self-organised membership, management clearly believe they can defeat their workforce by 'beheading' the union. Such attacks must be resisted.

Student Radicals: an incomplete history of protest at the University of Sussex 1971-1975

In time for Freshers Fair, we've printed some of Ed Goddard's excellent pamphlet on student radicalism at Sussex. Ed Goddard is a former member of Brighton SF currently living in Italy, and an admin of the libcom.org website. Come see us on the Anarchist Society stall to get a copy, or download as a pdf here.