Tuesday 30 January 2018

After Village School strikers lobby him, Muhammed Butt agrees to write to governors saying Brent Council would like the school to stay with the local authority

Brent Council leader Muhammed Butt hears from The Village School strike supporters
Supporters of The Village School strikers lobbied Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of the Labour brent Council, at a protest inside Brent Vivic Centre this morning. Today was the first day of three days of strikes against academisation this week.

Cllr Butt was asked to write to the school's governors making the case for staying with the local authority in line with Labour Party policy.

The NEU said:
After an early morning well attended picket at The Village School, Kingsbury, London a large group of NEU teachers and support staff members made their way to the Brent Civic Centre in Wembley. This was their fourth day of strike action against the Governors plans to turn the school into an academy.

Holding banners aloft and singing their specially written songs a flash mob descended on the steps inside the Civic Centre causing consternation. Lyrics included their signature song, “There’s something shady going on”. 

They refused to leave when asked to by security. 

Cllr Muhammed Butt, Labour Leader of the Council was then called to come and address them and he did. What the staff were asking was for him to write to the Governors and point out the benefits of staying with the Local Authority family of schools rather than go down the privatisation route of academisation. Cllr Butt seemed reluctant to do this. 

He then met a group of the protesters in his office and it was agreed that he would write a letter to the Governors stating that, although it is ultimately the Governors' decision what happens, the Labour Council would prefer the school to stay with the Local Authority.

NEU members were very pleased that their protest had brought about a change in Cllr Butt’s stance and look forward to seeing his letter join the mounting opposition to this unnecessary academisation of an outstanding special school. 

Tomorrow NEU members will be meeting Barry Gardiner, MP at the House of Commons in Westminster to ask him to publicly state his clear opposition to the academisation of The Village School.

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