Brent teachers protest over merger plans

Copland teachers strike over proposed Ark Academy merger

Copland teachers strike over proposed Ark Academy merger - Credit: Archant

Teachers in Brent have switched markers for protest placards as they embarked on a day of action against controversial government proposals.

Teachers in Brent have switched markers for protest placards as they embarked on a day of action against controversial government proposals.

Elsewhere, staff at Copland Community in Wembley have demonstrated against proposals to merge the secondary school with Ark Academy in Wembley.

The school on Cecil Avenue was closed as teachers and union members donned Santa costumes to protest outside the Academy against central government plans..

Jean Roberts, Brent National Union of Teachers (NUT) secretary told the Times: “Because the school failed its OFSTED they are actually forcing it to become an academy and they are giving the school no choice.”


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Lesley Gouldbourne, Joint NUT Secretary believes the school is on the up after a recent leadership review showed many improvements in teaching and learning.

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A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Industrial action will disrupt pupils’ education, hugely inconvenience parents and damage the profession’s reputation in the eyes of the public at a time when our reforms are driving up standards across the country.

“Where a school has been judged by Ofsted as requiring ‘special measures’ – as Copland Community School has – we believe the support of a strong sponsor is the best way to help them improve quickly and ensure improvements are sustained.”

Elsewhere, teachers across the borough and nationally left classrooms and joined picket lines to oppose plans to increase their pay by only 0.7 per cent.

Angry members of the University and College Union (UCU), one of the trade unions taking industrial action, claim the proposed pay increase is ‘insulting’.

A bulk of the disgruntled 1,000 protesters gathered outside the College of North West London buildings in Dudden Hill and Wembley Park on Tuesday to voice their concerns.

Indro Sen, branch secretary of UCU said: “We regret that students had to suffer today but unfortunately quite a lot of our members are living on overdrafts.”

Although pay had been frozen over the past four years, teachers have been hit with extra workload which has forced lecturers to work over the weekends, let alone evenings according to Mr Sen.

“What that does is it diminishes the quality we are giving to the students,” he said.

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