Students at Cowes Enterprise go on strike chanting ‘Save our Teachers!’ (Updated 11:00)

Cowes Enterprise students say they have had enough and jobs must not be cut.

Cowes enterprise students go on strike by Harry Sinclair

Students at Cowes Enterprise college went on strike this morning in protest at the proposed cuts to teaching staff at the school.

OnTheWight was called from the site and told:

“Students at Cowes Enterprise college have taken it upon themselves to go on strike this morning.

They attended registration, then proceeded on to the schools field. The majority of the school’s students are out here.

They’re holding a strike in protest of the new staffing structure – the cuts (the details of which OnTheWight released last week) that are being made.”

Update 11:00 We’ve been to the school, but have been kept off from speaking to the students, as are the handful of parents who are being supportive from the sidelines.

It was all very peaceful, with blocks of teacher distributed around trying to make sure there’s no trouble. Police and Fire (see below) did attend, but left quite quickly.

It’s very difficult to judge how many students are involved and they have spread out across the fields. It’s safe to say that there were at least 200+ pupils there.

When the school’s Principal (who announced recently that she was going on maternity leave) came out to the field, the students started chanting, “Save our teachers!”

As OnTheWight left, at about 10:30, the teachers had asked the Sixth Formers to gather the students back into school.

When asked, the teachers declined to speak.

Small fire
10:03 – The Isle of Wight Fire brigade was called to Cowes Enterprise by neighbour after two pupils set fire to their shirts at the students protest. They left fairly quickly.

10:30 The Fire Brigade told OnTheWight that they had attended, but their didn’t carry out any action as the a member of staff had extinguished the small fire (smouldering shirts) before they arrived.

This ‘selfie’ below with fire fighters as they made their way across the field was shot by Cowes pupil Jonathan East,

The fire fighters were cheered and wolf whistled as they left the site.

Image: © Used with the kind permission of Harry Sinclair

Friday, 4th April, 2014 9:43am



Filed under: Cowes, Isle of Wight News, North Wight, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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31 Comments on "Students at Cowes Enterprise go on strike chanting ‘Save our Teachers!’ (Updated 11:00)"

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Or you could say look at how well the teachers have taught them to read and they have learnt by themselves how to strike?


LOL …… Just look how the teachers have taught them well …… How to strike !!!

Beyond Concerned

You should not undermine what was a very brave action by young people concerned about their future.


Rather, how to express compassion, empathy and integrity and shake off the subservient haze. It is THE most spirited thing on the island right now. Nothing is static, change is a constant decreed by evolution.

ninjas jelly fish

I went on strike to prevent Justin biebers music being played in the lobby on the way to school


These strikes are justified because people are standing up for education – these students have a right to an adequate number of fully qualified teachers, as do all children – the government are trying to take that away.



Beyond Concerned

I understand that the Principal and Governors have been refusing to meet with parents. Surely now they will listen to the students.


The students are right to protest and Good Luck to them. There are so many ‘authorities’ involved in this mess and yet nobody seems to take responsibility. These kids have suffered enough and they wont get another chance.


Fiddler and the Head have refused to meet the parents. Total cowards and wrong people for the job.


Because they might give away the fact it’s not a school it’s a prison and we are all inmates

Well done the students! No doubt the experience of the event will be useful for those studying politics e.g. * popular uprising in response to undemocratic decisions by a ruling authority that are influenced by an extraneous power * media obstructed by the ruling authority from discussing the problems with those protesting. * silence from the ruling authority. * ruling authority seeks assistance from an (assumed) reliable… Read more »

I’t’s a new curriculum they need, one based on reality.

As I demonstraed in my analysis of the CEC Students’ Strike having similar characteristics to popular revolts. * Exclusion of the media to aid historical revisionism: “I want to make clear the press were asked to leave the site immediately until someone from the college was able to make a statement. The situation was, in fact, exacerbated by the presence of the press and by some comments… Read more »



As a student at cowes I was present during the “protest”
People deserve to know that only a few students seemed to genuinly care about the recent staffing cuts and the most common phrase I personally heard was that “this is a good excuse to get out of lessons”
The media has once again refused to reveal the full details.

Sally Perry

Whilst I am sure there may have been some students who were just looking to miss lessons, there were certainly more than “just a few” students who were unhappy about the proposed staff cuts.


CECstudent, if you are a student who went to protest, you shouldn’t say only a few of you seemed to care, and that others just wanted to get out of lessons! You say, all of us attending care about out future etc, use the media to your advantage, don’t belittle the protest and what it stands for!!

Beyond Concerned
I was there this morning. A large number of students were chanting “Save our teachers”. Others were holding self made banners declaring “Save Our Mentors” and “Keep Our Helpers”. This matters to a large number of students. Sure, there will always be a few who will use any excuse to get out of lessons. Nevertheless, we should praise the brave move undertaken by the majority of young… Read more »
Former pupil

CECStudent or CECManagement? Reads like someone trying to belittle the brave move by 100s of students to show they care about what’s going on at the school.

Good on them! (the students that is)


Best wishes and solidarity to students, parents and teachers fighting to defend education. You are showing the way at a time when young people face a very difficult future. If any of you would like to write a report to publicise your campaign and build support for what you are doing please email: Nick Chaffey, Southampton Socialist Party

Phil Snider

Well done students!! teacher student solidarity, uniting to stand up for quality education! Carry on!

First rule of having a demo: don’t hold it where you’re told to, all your communal energy gets dissipated without anyone much noticing. Also, it doesn’t sound like a group of students were the instigators – going off to the playing field after registration sounds teribly meek, almost as tho they were advised by teachers so as not to cause upheaval. And where are the statements from… Read more »

I was there and there were the few that only wanted to get out of lessons, but there always are! I stayed throughout the day and I saw what happened. You would be surprised how many ‘badasses’ were actually upset about the mentors leaving because most of them need them! Do not just put the students that actually helped down.

Education is a right and not a privilege. Students are quite capable of understanding that these Academies are undermining their right to a decent quality of education and removing good teachers and support staff is not the right way to solve financial problems. There is justice in their actions and it is social failure that has politicised them.They have as much right as anyone else to politically… Read more »
Brad Steen
I go to Cowes Enterprise College and I heard that some people were arrested and that some people stayed outside ALL DAY! I didn’t want to get involved as I went to all of my lessons! Most people in my form went because there was only 7 people in my maths class! I think the police or the teachers should have dealt with it sooner as they… Read more »
It is easy to sit on the fence and judge others. Striking is a last resort when people don’t listen. They did not disrupt anyone. People are happy to go in while others fight for what they believe in.If you have solidarity you will achieve. Living conditions are worsening services are being cut but people don’t vote then whinge about the state of our country.Joe public will… Read more »
Naomi Fearon

Standing up for what is right-this is brilliant ! Solidarity !

These youngsters have born the brunt of the schools reorganisation, put up with the long delays in building the new building, suffered the poor teaching that landed the school in special measures and now they see the support staff many of them rely on being sacked or forced to accept a huge pay cut. This is their one and only chance at education and they have every… Read more »
Black Dog
All our children have a right to good education, something the island seems to have forgotten. Hampshire are conspicuous by their absence. I applauded the students action an would suggest a sustained course of action against the school, governors, council and Hampshire. The students have a say and have expectation that must be met. This has gone on for too long and needs a finite commitment from… Read more »

I am a student at cec that day a lot of students were using it as an effort to get out of lessons, also a lot of people did bot know why we were striking! also most of the children out there would not cair if any teachers got the sack!!!