Downhills take strike action and Carpetright targeted

Carpet time at Carpetright

May 27, 2012

Report from Save Downhills Campaign

Industrial Action

On Tuesday (22 May) our teachers held a one-day strike in protest at a forced and unwanted change of employer to the Harris Federation.  This was not a decision they took lightly and all messages of support were very much appreciated.  Our teachers were joined by parents and other supporters on the picket line – here’s the BBC report, if you missed it.

This support grew in strength during the day when over 400 people attended a Day of Action in to support our teachers.  The Save Downhills campaign organised a family event in the Downhills Park with international food, banner making, face painting, sports and arts and crafts.  Paul Lyall, a local poet, ran a fantastic poetry workshop for children and Michael Rosen also attended and voiced his support for our campaign – we so much appreciated both of them.  Practically the whole school was there and many from the wider community – it was an event that won’t be forgotten.  Many thanks go to the NUT, UNISON, Sophie Kaur and others who helped make the day such a success.

Carpet time at CarpetrightCarpet Time’ at Carpetright

On Saturday (26 May) about 50 parents and children from Downhills and other local schools had a ‘carpet time’ in Carpetright, Tottenham Halel to protest against the Secretary of State’s attempts to force our school (and at least one other Haringey primary) to become an academy sponsored by Lord Harris.  Lord Harris has donated millions of pounds to the Tory party and is described as a ‘close friend’ by Prime Minister David Cameron; he made his fortune selling carpets, not educating children. 

We thought that if Lord Harris wants to take over our school, we should take over his shop for a short while.  The children listened to the story of ‘The Magic Carpet Seller’ who came to realise that children cannot be mass produced and manufactured in the way that carpet can.  We left the shop after ‘carpet time’ and assembled outside to sing our campaign song ‘Save our school’.  Thanks to Hazel Gould for writing the fantastic story and Andy Graves for the illustrations.

Looking ahead, the ‘consultation’ which is being undertaken by Cambridge Education on behalf of the Harris-loaded IEB in our school ends this week. Friday 1 June is the deadline for people to submit their responses to the consultation.  Anyone who considers themselves a stakeholder in our school or, indeed, the future of community schools can contribute to the consultation. 

If you would like a copy of the consultation form distributed by Cambridge Education, email the Save Downhills campaign. Alternatively, you can write directly to Les Walton at Cambridge Education to express your viewpoint.

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