The NEU members of The Village school in Brent took their protest to the steps inside Brent Civic Centre again today. As about forty staff, on strike for the second day this week against the proposed academy trust, moved onto the steps with their banners, frantic security staff rushed over. One tried to prevent a banner proclaiming NEU staff say no academy at Village school being unrolled. The campaigners calmly continued, holding up placards and flags, and singing their protest songs.
Yesterday, after their morning picket, they were seen writing letters on the very same steps without complaint. When the police finally arrived today, the Civic Centre having been regaled with a variety of songs and chants and becoming the centre of attention, the protest was packing away. The security staff called the protesters ‘disruptive’. However, the police saw no breach of the peace and were very sympathetic to the strikers, understanding that privatisation was affecting all public services.
We have been reliably informed that the responses to the consultation were OVERWHELMINGLY against the proposal (including more than 95% of TVS staff). This further crushing blow to those backing the scheme comes after Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council declared public opposition of both himself and the Labour Cabinet to handing over this valuable Council asset (the new school cost £29 million) lock, stock and barrel to the privateers.
The Governors meet next Wednesday 28th to make the decision, but papers sent to Governors clearly recommend agreement to become a Multi Academy Trust. Such is the assumption this will go ahead, the next item on the agenda is a discussion of the Articles of Association and even the suggested name for the MAT. NEU staff are determined to keep up the fight to save their school from being privatised. They will be on strike tomorrow (22nd) and next week on 27th and 28th as well as turning up at the Governors meeting.