Pupils protest in Plymouth after headteacher threatens Golden Time

With Golden Time under threat, students from Pennycross Primary in Plymouth staged a protest with the help of UNISON.

On Friday morning, 1st March, year 4 pupils received news that their headteacher was removing the privilege of “Golden Time” on Friday afternoons and replacing it with additional Maths lessons.

The union received countless calls and dispatched Simon Wintle and Emily Gallagher, two of the union’s organisers, to give pupils a whirlwind workshop in trade unionism.

The workshop helped the children to understand their rights, how to take individual action, politely and positively present their views, elect union representatives, work collectively and campaign effectively.

The pupils developed brilliant campaign plans that ended with a successful protest which saw the head overturn her decision.

The workshop was part of the school’s ‘British Values Day’ where students were taught about the principles of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect.

UNISON regional organiser Emily Gallagher said:

“We had such a good time with the children of Pennycross Primary and identified several future union leaders. One child wanted to stage a solitary protest outside the head’s office and another who suggested we ‘write politely otherwise nobody will listen’, both good tactics to deploy during a campaign.

“We asked the children to think about how they could use their voices to stand up for something the believed in and we quickly found out how much louder their voices were if they all chanted together!

“Simon and I would like to extend a special thank you to the school for a wonderful morning of positive activism and for inviting us along.”