The remaining three members of the Halesowen 4 have been dismissed. Hearings took place for the remaining three members on Monday and all three UCU members had to wait until Friday to hear about the outcome. This afternoon all three teachers were dismissed.
Each dismissal letter featured the same reason! Lecturers were dismissed for the failure of their students to reach their potential although:
1) It was agreed that lesson observations showed them to be good teachers.
2) There was no cause for a dismissal based upon gross misconduct.
This means that four cases now stand out as precedents for dismissal on the grounds of student results alone with no attention to their individual observation grades and without any act of gross misconduct. This leaves every member of staff vulnerable: even a good teacher with a clean disciplinary record could be dismissed if their results dipped.
The broad message sent by these sackings are clear: staff are 100% responsible for student outcomes, even if managerial incompetence or mistakes were to cause the failure of students. Criticism of management or the way the department is handled is not part of a supportive process- it is a sign of belligerence and a refusal to cooperate with that “support”.
The injustice against the staff and students of Halesowen College has quadrupled, and so should our efforts!
In more positive news, Dave’s petition (SIGN HERE) has exploded with numbers rocketing from around 1000 on New Year’s Day to nearly 9000 today! Those signing include present and former students and staff, MPs, local councilors, trade union activists, parents of students (past and present), and nationally renowned journalists and writers- and more!
There have been two protests and lobbies outside of the college this week with plenty more to come. Halesowen UCU members have voted to ballot for escalating industrial action and messages of support from all over the country are pouring in. But we still have much more to do! The lobbies and protests will continue, and you can help.
There is a PUBLIC MEETING at OLD HILL CRICKET CLUB at 7.30 on 14th January. (Details to be found here). Not only will their be speeches from those involved in the campaign (and others) but you’ll be able to register your interest in joining the campaign group at the meeting (which can also be done by contacting us at this blog). Whatever you think you can do will be appreciated. If you can hand out leaflets, spend time talking to people, send e-mails, write letters, stand in on protests, organise meetings, produce materials, whatever you wish to contribute- then please do! The smallest ripple can add to the big waves that this campaign is creating!
And as a final point, everyone involved in the campaign would like to thank those who have shown support since this kicked off before Christmas. The past few weeks have been a mixture of disappointing (in terms of management decisions) and inspiring in terms of the amazing responses we’ve been getting, especially from those who’ve never been involved with a campaign like this before.
The road is long, but nearly ten thousand people have got our backs!
Let’s win this for the Halesowen 4!