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Burston Strike School

The Burston School Strike began when Annie and Tom Higdon, teachers at the Norfolk village's Church of England school, were sacked after a dispute with the area's school management committee and schoolchildren went on strike in their support.

The Higdons had moved to the school in 1911 and complained about the unhygienic conditions, particularly the dampness, inadequate heating and lighting. Managers responded with their own allegations regarding the teachers’ behaviour. The Higdons' dismissal took effect on 1 April 1914. As the authorities were taking over, the children came out on strike, singing and marching around the village waving flags. The Higdons set up an alternative school which was attended by 66 of their 72 former pupils with the full support of their parents. Beginning in a marquee on the village green, the school moved to a local carpenter's premises and in May 1917 to a purpose-built school financed by donations from the labour movement. The Burston Strike School carried on teaching local children until 1939 and is now a museum. Since 1984 there has been an annual rally in September to commemorate the school and the longest strike in UK history.

This photograph, showing some of the Strike School pupils, is from an appeal in 1916 for funds to maintain both the school and local agricultural workers, evicted from Glebe small holdings for supporting the strike.

Title Burston Strike School
Maker --
Production Date 1916
Format Document
Copyright --
Holding Institution TUC Library Collections, London Metropolitan University
Related Objects Burston School Strike
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