Support staff at Peacehaven school strike over threat of academisation

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We want local schools, in local authority control for the good of our local children’s education, says GMB Southern

  • GMB Union members working as support staff at Peacehaven Heights Primary School went out on strike yesterday (1 May) over the threat of academisation. They were joined by NEU members at Telscombe Cliffs school who are also facing potential academisation and Peacehaven Community School which is in the process of being handed over to SWALE Academy trust.

    Teachers and Support staff from all three schools were joined on the picket lines by local parents, children and local MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle who visited all four picket lines to show his continued support for the campaign against academisation which has been ongoing since January.

    The protests continued after the well supported picket lines with a rally and march of approximately 250 people through Peacehaven town and along the coast road. The march was well supported by the whole community and there was a vibrant, noisy and determined atmosphere for all involved.

    The ongoing dispute across the schools has been gaining momentum since January when Governors at Peacehaven Heights and Telscombe Cliffs told parents and staff that East Sussex County Council had told the Governors they must convert to academies, since then the Council has clarified this statement saying that they have strongly recommended the schools become academies. 

    Lib Whitfield, GMB Regional Organiser said:

    "The staff, parents and wider community have today come out on strike and marched in protest against the threat of the academisation of these local schools. The message was very loud and absolutely clear today that Peacehaven does not want their schools to be handed over to private Academies and our members, together with the parents will fight against any proposals to academise.

    "We have been in contact with the Governors of the school to request dispute meetings before the strike today took place and The Governors of the school have agreed to meet with the unions later this month.

    "Our message to the Governors is clear, do not academise our local schools and our message to East Sussex County Council is even clearer: We will not stand by while you push the failed accademisation agenda on any of our local schools and governing bodies, we will fight this every step of the way until ESCC finally understand that they need to end any further academisation of our schools.

    "We want local schools, in local authority control for the good of our local children’s education."


    Contact: Lib Whitfield 07583 182085 or GMB Southern Press Office 07970 114762