Huge lobby kicks off campaign to reclaim college community

Large numbers of union and student activists gathered as the sun rose at Halesowen College today to show senior management that shock and outrage at the dismissal of Dave Muritu and the disciplinaries being pushed on other staff had not gone away as intended over the Christmas holidays, but has grown and grown to breaking point.

The mood amongst students who have had their teaching staff removed in the crucial build up to exams was confusion and fury.

Lots of students added their voices to the online petition, with comments such as

“I struggled in my maths lessons but Dave always helped me and made maths very simple for me. He is an excellent staff member; it is a privilege for halesowen college to have such an individual who dedicates himself to helping others. If Dave is not reinstated, the college can only go downhill from here”

“Dave was my maths teacher last year, and he helped me to achieve the AS grade i wanted to. he is an excellent teacher and shouldnt have been sacked. :(”

and

“This man taught maths like no other! He reinstalled my faith in what i thought was a dead subject and now maths is my life but how can maths ever be the same if Dave isn’t there?”

The college is a community which is shared by all, not, as senior management believe, a corporation. The dismissal of David Muritu is an act of institutionalised violence which has seen a lecturer graded as good with above average results shut out from students in the vital run up to exams in a bizarre act of machismo and self-indulgent muscle from those at the top. It has revealed not only the contempt in which dedicated and conscientious staff are held (which has been visible to some for quite a while), but also the contempt felt for the students who have been caught in the middle of senior management’s power play.

The three remaining targetted union members have faced their disciplinaries with amazing courage in the face of huge emotional damage wrought on them by years of overloading and bullying which came to a head last term. Now they are being left waiting, in the usual compassionate fashion, for their verdicts. The branch meet tomorrow to formalise the action they will be escalating in response to this attack on the students and staff of the college community

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2 comments

  1. Kirstie Paton (Greenwich NUT) · · Reply

    You have the full support of NUT reps up and down the country who know only too well that we are moving into a climate where managers are using these tactics as schools and colleges come under pressure to deliver ‘results’. Our students well being as well as our morale and health are all being sacrificed in the market lead madness that forces colleges and schools to compete in league tables. This has to stop. In the first instance we must resist every attempt by managers to use threats of dismissal and open victimsation with collective industrial action. But we also need to build a movement of teachers, students and parents against this Government who has launched a reactionary ideological assault on education.

  2. Maths gives us power – to understand how money markets work. This is why it is being made to seem uninspiring, irrelevant and ‘dead’ to us.

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