Tuesday 21 March 2017

FHS strike: Staff and parents demand Lewisham Council acts to stop cuts

There was a tremendous turnout of staff, parents and students outside Forest Hill School (FHS) this morning to support NUT members taking their first day of strike action against damaging cuts at FHS (see pictures below). Yet more staff were gathering support from commuters at Sydenham and Forest Hill stations.

The key message from today's protest was for everyone to meet again - with even more friends, neighbours and colleagues outside Lewisham Town Hall to:

from 5pm, Wednesday 22 March
outside Lewisham Town Hall in Catford,
London SE6 4RU

Sadly, the Council seem to be trying to wash their hands of this dispute even though they are the employer of the many staff that are being made redundant; even though they will remain the employer of all the staff who will be left to support the same number of students with fewer colleagues and so an even greater workload; even though they need to take responsibility for the education of local children that will be damaged as a result of these cuts.

Some councillors are even saying that acting to support the school would be 'illegal'. This is rubbish. The protest was told how Greenwich Council is agreeing to provide additional funding and extend loan repayments to support one of its schools facing similar funding pressures.

Education legislation also makes it clear that the expectation lies with the Council to take responsibility for the cost of the redundancy payments for those support staff who have already left plus those teachers who have opted for voluntary redundancy. That money alone could help prevent any further compulsory redundancies and allow FHS to recruit staff to address some of the additional workload that is otherwise going to be forced on to remaining staff.

So JOIN THE LOBBY TOMORROW. Tell Lewisham Council to stop pretending that defending education in one of their schools is 'illegal' and to start carrying out their responsibilities to one of its community schools.

A parent speaks up in support of teachers' action

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