The decision to suspend strike action in Birmingham primary schools facing forced academisation is unsurprising given the change in the political complexion of Birmingham City Council and the long-standing union tradition of negotiation in good faith.
HOWEVER… the forced academisation process will not be suspended. It will proceed surreptitiously, furtively, undemocratically and quietly behind closed doors. When announcements are made, it is generally because a deal is signed and sealed – and at a point where it can be debated as openly as you like – because it is faît accompli.
I can’t comment on the possible outcomes of the strike ballots but I would urge those parents who feel that they should be consulted about major changes to the educational provision for their children to make their voices heard; by the school governors, the headteacher, the teachers and their local councillors and member of parliament.
Parents: be aware that school staff may not be able to take the initiative on this, so it really is up to you.
The Birmingham Mail has today reported that teaching unions have suspended the strike threat over forced academies at 13 Primaries until they can determine whether the new Labour-run council will support them in standing up against forced academies. Union leaders have written to Brigid Jones, the new cabinet member for children and family services calling for an “urgent meeting” .