Class Struggle's blog

Workers' control and the Chicago model

On 6 February, the Chicago Teachers’ Union (CTU) issued a “framework... relating to resumption of in-person instruction” to its membership, and their vote to ratify was reported on 10 February.

That framework included familiar features. Every CPS (Chicago Public Schools) facility must have...

Jobs cuts in schools

Financial cuts and local falling rolls in Lewisham, south-east London, are threatening school workers’ jobs. At Conisborough College, a secondary school, a proposed re-organisation is threatening to lose six teacher roles. It is thought that a second re-structure of support staff may follow. In...

Karen Lewis lit the spark

Karen Lewis, leader of the 2012 Chicago teachers’ strike, died of cancer on 7 February 2021. An obituary in Labor Notes here describes her role in building a rank-and-file caucus in the Chicago Teachers’ Union and then leading the CTU.

School workers lead fight to curb new virus variant

Pushed by school workers in the National Education Union (NEU) refusing to comply with school reopening on 4 January, the government on the evening of 4 January announced a new lockdown.

It is vital now for the labour movement to take the initiative and campaign on our own program, rather than...

GCSE chaos: abolish the grades!

Across the UK different regional governments have taken different approaches to the sitting and grading of school exams in the summer term of 2021.

In Scotland the National 5 (GCSE equivalent) exams have been cancelled and grades will be determined by “teacher judgement supported by assessment”...

The SWP school of falsification part … ad nauseam

The SWP's policy in the NEU of toadying up to the bureaucracy and siding with it against militant industrial trade unionism has exposed the organisation for the fraud it is time and time again.

In the latest episode Chris Denson (who?), a third rate SWP hack and bureaucrat who seems to be...

Sywell strikes against academisation

The first the staff knew about this decision was from a leak in the local pub. An ex-governor had told another ex-governor that the Governing Body had made this decision in December 2019. The news spread like wildfire and therefore the governors had to announce it to the community in January 2020...

Grades in 2021

The government has said GCSE and A level grades for 2021 will be done on teachers’ assessments.

That may be better than the botched algorithm attempted in 2020. But every school will seek to report results a bit better than 2020 or 2019. A student’s grades will depend as much on their school...

Workers' control and school safety

From 5 January all secondary and primary schools moved to being physically open only to vulnerable children and the children of key workers. Learning for other students is being offered online.

There continue to be struggles over the specifics of this. Firstly, the government has tried to widen...

Workers' Liberty Model Motions for NEU Confernce 2021

If you support one of our motions get in touch with us to discuss the upcoming National Education Union conference and try to pass one of our motions through your local NEU meeting. Motions must be submitted by districts by midnight 3rd December.

Grades? Let the students into uni!

By a London Teacher

Scottish school students received grades for Nationals, Highers and Advanced Higher courses on Tuesday 4 August.

Grades had been estimated by schools after exams were cancelled due the Covid pandemic. 125,000 grades, or a quarter of the total, were lowered by the Scottish...

A ragged 1 June, but schools union grows

By a primary school teacher and NEU activist in Lewisham.

On 30 May, four scientists from the government’s SAGE advisory group went public saying that the Tories’ easing of the lockdown, including the wider opening of schools, is unwise at this time.

The number of cases and the infection rate...

Debate on the NEU and balloting

1. Todd Hamer

To the casual observer there is something very odd about what is happening in the National Education Union. For some weeks the NEU leadership has rightly argued that it would be unsafe to reopen schools until there is a lower number of Coronavirus cases making possible tracing and...

Unite, schools and 1 June

The big union Unite has signed up to the “education unions' statement on the safe reopening of schools". This statement calls on the government “to step back from 1 June” and identifies the following core principles:

• Safety and welfare of pupils and staff as the paramount principle

• No...

Children, parents, school workers: stand together!

The education unions are right to say schools should not accept further mass return of pupils until the five tests are met. We should fully support any school workers who will take action on health and safety grounds from 1 June to keep their workplaces open only to vulnerable and key workers’...

Make the schools safe!

The government’s aspiration to open schools to all Year 6, Year 1, Reception and Nursery children on 1 June is likely to be largely unrealised.

That is good. We all want children back in our schools, but the number of cases and the continual spread of the virus indicate that it is not...

When and how can schools re-open?

The debate about schools re-opening has intensified in the last week. It is clear that the government and their closest media friends have decided to ramp up the pressure to open. On April 30th Johnson let it be known that he would make a major announcement the following week on government plans to...

The SWP and high-stakes testing

By Duncan Morrison

For the last four years members of the Socialist Workers’ Party have fought militantly AGAINST the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and then the National Education Union (NEU) balloting its members to boycott SATs and the other high-stakes test in primary schools.

That’s...

Organising an NEU branch in the Covid 19 Crisis

By a Lewisham school worker

When the schools closed on 20th March the national union had already asked reps to set up WhatsApp groups for their school groups. In Lewisham we encouraged our reps to do this. The branch has weekly Zoom meetings open to all activists. These meetings enable us to...

Lewisham to ballot for boycotting

By Duncan Morrison, Assistant Secretary Lewisham NEU

After a meeting with the National Education Union’s Action Committee, school workers in Lewisham hope the committee will allow us to have another indicative ballot on boycotting high stakes testing in primary schools in December.

That should...

NEU Conference Motions for 2020

From representation of support staff to combating antisemitism, from carrying forward the fight against testing to building solidarity with the oppressed Uyghur in China Workers' Liberty school workers have a huge range of motions for you to read and consider supporting for NEU conference 2020....

“I’m in the House of Lords at last”

Christine Blower, former general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), has been made a peer in the resignation honours list.

She follows other once-left union leaders into the halls of privilege, people like Hugh Scanlon, once left-wing leader of the engineering union (now part of...

School funding: don't give comfort to Tory election gimmicks

Patrick Murphy (personal capacity)

On Friday August 30th the Tory government announced an increase in funding for schools over the next 3 years. They spun it as a £14bn increase and Boris Johnson boasted that this would “make sure every child receives a superb education regardless of which school...

Carrying Forward the Fight on Testing

Patrick Murphy (personal capacity)

The NEU Executive met on July 13th to consider the full detailed results of the recent indicative ballot on high stakes primary testing. Much of the information discussed was confidential but the basic picture was fairly clear. Opposition to the testing regime...

Boycott High Stakes Summative Testing in Primary Schools

The system of testing in our schools is a form of state-sponsored child abuse. The process of testing which begins in year one destroys a love of learning, humiliates children and stifles developing minds. English school children are now among the most tested in the world. Motion 16, ‘Boycott...

How to Fight the Right, How Not to Fight the Right

On 29 March, the day the UK was due to crash out of the European Union, the pro-Brexit right mobilised in central London.

Thousands marched for Brexit and the SWP front, Stand Up to Racism (SUTR), protested in opposition. There were about 50 anti-racists who were barracked and taunted by the...

SEND Cuts: The Most Vulnerable Lose Out

By the government’s own reckoning over 2000 pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are not getting access to necessary resources and equipment because of funding cuts. Since 2015 £5.4 billion has been cut from school budgets in England. The most vulnerable have been hit hardest....

Workload - More Than a Toolkit is Required

According to the 2018 NEU survey, 81% of teachers said they have considered leaving teaching in the last year because of the pressures of workload. That’s pretty much most teachers!

In the NEU survey, one teacher commented: “I don't know how I can change how I work, I don't know how long I can...

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.