Parents, pupils and staff protested outside the Town Hall in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, on July 17 to oppose the closure of Abbeydale Grange School. On July 8 the Liberal Democrat-led Sheffield City Council cabinet voted to close Abbeydale Grange, a school with 600 pupils and 90 staff.
The operation will begin immediately, with a view to closure in August 2010. Only the remaining Year 11 students are to stay until final closure in July 2011.
About 75 people attended the demonstration, with many holding placards reading “Say No to closing Abbeydale Grange—Schools Not Houses.” This refers to the suspicion that a central factor in the council’s decision to close is that it will be able to sell off the 51 acres of prime building land the school and its grounds occupy.
On July 8, Sheffield City Council voted to close Abbeydale Grange secondary school in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. The vote was approved by a cabinet meeting of the Liberal Party-led council. The school currently has around 600 pupils.
Prior to the city council meeting, parents and supporters held a demonstration outside the Town Hall to demand the council keep the school open. Also attending the rally were former pupils.
The council cabinet, under the leadership of Sheffield Liberal Party leader Paul Scriven, voted to shut the school despite many at times impassioned written and oral submissions from staff at the school, parents, current and former pupils. One parent said she was considering legal action against the council on the basis that it had not given enough time to find another school willing to partner with Abbeydale Grange.
The following is a statement issued by the International Students for Social Equality to the students of the University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil’s largest university, who have been engaged in a strike, together with professors and staff members, since May 3. The action, which has been accompanied by an occupation of the university’s administration building, was taken by the students on May 3 in response to series of decrees by the state of Sao Paulo’s right-wing governor, Jose Serra, abrogating university autonomy, particularly in budgetary matters, thereby paving the way to the privatization of higher education and subordinating learning directly to the demands of the major corporations. Serra has repeatedly threatened to end the occupation by sending in military police riot squads. The strike has spread to other universities in the state.
Students at USP have translated the statement into Portuguese and are distributing it at the struck university.