Wednesday 15 November 2023

Lyon Park Primary strikers on second day of the strike: 'We are the backbone of the school' - VIDEO



There was no need for me to ask anyone how to get to Lyon Park Primary School this morning when I took the shortcut over the railway bridge from London Road. Loud cheering and chanting echoed through the quiet suburban streets off Ealing Road and served as my guide. 

The strikers were in great spirits on the second day of their walkout and their sense of togetherness was strong and getting stronger as they talked about their struggle against wage cuts and worsening of conditions, including transfers to term-time only contracts.

As I have pointed out on Wembley Matters now for several years the worsening school funding crisis and subsequent redundancies affect support staff in schools the most, but have a knock-on effect on teachers' conditions and the quality of education offered by schools.

Lyon Park Primary is not alone in Brent in suffering from a deficit budget but it is he first to implement such drastic cuts after failing to be granted a licensed deficit by the local authority. What is happening at Lyon Park will be a test case closely watched by the governing bodies and senior management of other schools.

The support staff I spoke to this morning were diverse and mainly women whose pay has never been generous but have a fierce commitment to the children they work with.  Many have been at the school for more than 30 years and working with the second or third generation of children. They are proud of their role and the way it has evolved into a professional (though often unrecognised as such) job over the past few decades.

The support staff described themselves as the backbone of the school, well known to the local community and often the first port of call for both parents and children experiencing difficulties.

They emphasised that they played a valuable part in moving the school out of the Ofsted 'Requiring Improvement' category and now feel betrayed.

Three days of strikes are planned for next week and further escalation thereafter. 

It appears that the management has been taken aback by the strength of the strike action and the support and solidarity strikers have received. I understand that the unions are due to meet with the headteacher for talks on Monday morning.

Stay tuned to Wembley Matters for further updates.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lyon Park members- You're awesome!