Michael Gove ‘binned’ by staff on strike at Wembley secondary school

An effigy of Michael Gove was binned by the strikers

An effigy of Michael Gove was binned by the strikers - Credit: Archant

Workers from Copland Community School throw out an effigy of the Secretary of State for Education

Staff took industrial action against academy conversion plans for Copland Community School

Staff took industrial action against academy conversion plans for Copland Community School - Credit: Archant

Angry teaching staff binned an effigy of the Secretary of State for Education during a strike today over academy conversion plans for a secondary school in Wembley.

Staff outside the new civic centre

Staff outside the new civic centre - Credit: Archant

Workers from Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue staged a second walkout over the controversial proposals which were announced in May.

The plans were revealed a week after the troubled school was placed in special measures by education watchdog Ofsted following an inspection.

Once the school adopts the government’s controversial status it will be place with sponsors and revokes control from the local authority.


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From 8am this morning, teachers and supporters gathered outside the school and heard speeches from lead members of three teaching unions ALT, NASUWT and NUT.

They then walked the short distance to Brent Council’s new £90m civic centre in Engineer’s Way where Michael Gove’s effigy were put in a dustbin

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Hank Robert, Copland teacher and ATL president, told the Times Brent Council need to assist education rather than side with Mr Gove.

He added: “The council have refused to listen to what anyone wants to say whether it s staff, teachers or the pupils.

“They can’t wait to wash their hands of this school but we will put up a fight.”

Cllr Michael Pavey, lead member for children and families, said he had met with the unions three times and was willing to meet again.

He added: “I want us to keep talking. I am very keen to listen and discuss.”

The Department for Education said it believed the support of a strong sponsor was the best way to help the schools improve.

The school has had a troubled history and four years ago its head teacher quit followed by his deputy who was sacked.

The pair, alongside four other members of staff, were charged with fraud amid claims they paid themselves illegal bonuses amounting to £2.7m.

They deny the claims and will face trial in September.

The school’s current headteacher Graeme Plunkett is understood to be leaving his post at the end of the term.

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