May 21 2013 Latest news:
by Tim Lamden
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Hundreds turned out in support of a teachers’ strike at Downhills Primary School yesterday.
Teachers joined parents, children and supporters of the Save Downhills Campaign for a picnic and afternoon of fun in Downhills Park, located behind the South Tottenham school.
The school, in Philip Lane, was closed as a result of the strike, which teachers had unanimously voted in favour of during a ballot carried out by the National Union of Teachers (NUT).
Strike action was called to protest against plans from the Department for Education (DfE) to forcibly convert the school into an academy, having sacked the governing body in March and replaced it with an interim executive board (IEB).
Parent Wendy Sugarman, 44, of Roslyn Road, who attended the picnic in the park, told the Journal: “There must have been between 300 and 400 people in the park.
“We had lots of things going on for the kids, like facepainting, singing and music. It was a really great day which brought together all the different communities at the school.”
Former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen also attended the event in the park, congratulating the Save Downhills Campaign for their work and declaring his opposition to Education Secretary Michael Gove’s plans.
The school’s IEB are currently undertaking a consultation with the local community to get their views on the DfE’s academy plans for Downhills.
It is understood Haringey Council are preparing a detailed consultation response which will show how the authority can improve the school, without the need for academy conversion.
Julie Davies, Haringey NUT secretary, said: “We have had constructive talks with Haringey Council about the consultation process, but we did not reach agreement in time to postpone the strike.”