A school in Birmingham, UK, was closed yesterday as workers at the school held a strike in protest against it becoming an academy. The Anti Academies Alliance reported that 100 teachers, parents and pupils stood at the picket line, in the second strike this year against plans to turn it into an academy. The picketers demanded that the school be given increased funds and support rather than being forced into the hands of private sponsors. But despite a petition of 700 signatures against the proposals, governors are continuing with their attempts to find a sponsor. The academy programme, which puts education in the hands of private individuals and corporations, and takes schools out of nationally determined pay and conditions for teachers, was begun under the Labour government, and has been enthusiastically rolled-out under the current Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government – while there were 200 academies in the UK when they came to power, over 1000 have been created since. A public meeting has been called on Thursday 26th January against turning the school into an academy. For more information and videos from the picket line see the Anti Academies Alliance website. Also click here to read about a similar action at a London primary school earlier this month.