Friday 5 August 2011

What does an American fee paying Christian school want with a Liverpool School?

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What does an American fee paying Christian school want with a Liverpool Comp?

Parents and Staff at Shorefields Technology College in Liverpool have fought a determined campaign against their school becoming an Academy.

This has included public meetings and protests, 4 strikes by NUT, NASUWT and GMB members and a coachload of protestors went to Chester University to attempt to talk to the Vice Chancellor, who backed out at the last minute.

Parents are keeping a close eye on developments at Shorefields, and they found the following on the web-

Savannah Christian Prep has announced that the school is forming a strategic partnership with the Shorefields Technology College (ages 11-18) of Liverpool, England.

This partnership is being facilitated by The British Council for Education, The Foreign Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s Office with the Georgia Economic Development Office.

Several faculty, administrators, and upper school students met with a host of counterparts from Shorefields along with the First Lady of Georgia, Sandra Deal (visiting Shorefields as part of the Governor’s trip to the UK), via video conference on Monday, May 16, 2011. During the virtual meeting, both schools were able to share ideas with each other for collaboration on academic and student leadership-driven projects.” click here for full report

They were a little surprised since nobody had ever heard of the Savannah Christian Preparatory School (SCPS) before, and they had not been told about the meeting.

SCPS is not a run of the mill local school with a Christian ethos, many of which can be found in Britain.


SCPS Fees

SCPS is a fee paying school. To send your children to SCPS you would need

$7284 per year for tuition – of this $810 is a non-refundable deposit

$60 for drug testing

$935 for the school bus

$656 for lunches

There are plenty of extra charges as well.


SCPS Mission

The SCPS Mission and Vision states

Savannah Christian Preparatory School seeks to glorify God by partnering with families, churches and the local community in educating future generations through Christ-centered training, application and example.

A committed, competent, creative faculty and staff will educate students as rigorous thinkers with a rock solid foundation of biblical values.” www.savcps.com

The Anti Academies Alliance rarely comments on the religious make up of Academies and Free Schools, we think this is secondary to their nature as schools which are no longer democratically controlled.

However we are concerned when a non-religious local community school is suddenly being ‘partnered’ with a highly religious school with no consultation with the parents.


Ideology

At SCPS Students study a film called “Icons of Evolution” which has been widely criticised for misquoting sources to produce the impression that evolution is invalid. click here for a wikipedia review

Other studies include “Homosexuality, fact or fiction”, “the shifting focus in the abortion debate”, and other texts which have a one sided analysis of society.

Whatever anybody’s personal opinions on these issues, our concern is that a school with a strong ideology is partnering a local community school which is not selective but has a responsibility to every child in the community.


Conversion postponed

On another note parents at Shorefields had been told that the school would open as an Academy in September. That date was then moved back to October. Yet if you look at the latest information from the DfE about schools becoming Academies Shorefields is due to become a sponsored Academy in January 2012.

 

What is going on?

What is going on at Shorefields Technology College? Why is the head teacher driving through an Academy proposal against the wishes of both parents and staff? Why is the head teacher linking the school with a fee-paying, religiously driven institution?

The staff and parents at Shorefields have stood firm in their determination to keep their school as a democratic local school. The stakes are high. They deserve everybody’s support.

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