Staff at Khalsa are being balloted for strike action to oppose academisation of their school.. They are fighting to defend their school and the pupils they teach. Please send messages of support via this website. (Scroll down to bottom of this page)
Please see below for a detailed press release. Link to media coverage here
You wouldn’t want teachers to be in charge of a Gurdwara, so why would you want the Gurdwara to be in charge of a school? Teachers & Support Staff Set to Strike at Khalsa Primary School
The Governing Body at Khalsa Primary are planning to academise the school. This would be a disaster for the pupils’ education at Khalsa Primary. Ealing is in the top ten performing local authorities in the whole of England and Wales for educational achievement. Where does the Governing Body expect to find the people with the expertise and experience that will match let alone surpass, that supplied by specialist professionals at Ealing Council?
Teachers and support staff care deeply about their pupil’s education. They fully support the Headteacher and believe under her leadership and with the support of the dedicated group of education professionals at Ealing Council that they can further improve upon the already excellent results and achievements at Khalsa Primary.
Sadly, this success is now in grave danger. There have been various incidences of unprofessional and inappropriate interference by some governors many of whom were appointed by the Gurdwara. The NUT and staff at Khalsa Primary (many of them practising Sikhs), stress that we have the utmost respect for those of Sikh faith and for the values that Sikhism promotes. Sikh Parents send their children to Khalsa Primary knowing they will receive an excellent education and because it is a Sikh faith school. No parent will send their children to a school that deprives their children of the best education possible. We want to put these arguments before the Khalsa Governors. Unfortunately they have been unwilling to negotiate with us.
Staff have been informally told by the Governing Body that the Department for Education insist that Khalsa Primary must be academised if the Gurdwara want their Free Sikh Secondary School bid to be approved. This is not the case, as the bid has already been submitted and is being considered. Staff in existing excellent neighbouring Secondary Schools are worried. There is no need, at the moment, for many additional secondary school places in Southall. An additional Secondary School in Southall will lead to falling rolls in other local schools and could lead to those schools making teachers and support staff, redundant. Pupils’ education in these schools will suffer. Furthermore, this bid could severely affect social cohesion and the good community relations that exist in Southall. A Sikh Secondary school will mean that once these Sikh children are taken out of other schools in Southall, the remaining schools will become predominately Muslim or Hindu. There are already residential areas in Southall that are predominately of one faith or community. This bid by the Gurdwara risks causing divisions within the communities of Southall. Rather we should celebrate our vibrant and wonderfully diverse area and respect each other’s faiths and cultures.
The Gurwara’s proposal forces us into a position where we are, as a last resort, balloting for strike action. All union members wish to avoid this. We hope that the Chair of Governors will agree to meet with us. We would hope to convince him and the President of the Gurdwara that the children at Khalsa Primary are much better off if their school remains part the Ealing ‘family’ of schools. They are prepared to strike to defend the quality of their pupil’s education.