600 at meeting to resist forced academies in Haringey

600 parents, teachers and members of the local community gathered to say no to the privatisation of four of Haringey’s primary schools, Downhills, Noel Park, Nightingale and Coleraine Park.
The meeting was addressed by David Lammy M.P. the Member of Parliament for Tottenham. The Secretary of state for education Michael Gove wants to force the four schools to become academies. He has given them until the 27th January to agree the change of status. If they do not comply he says he will abolish their boards of governors and replace them with unelected appointees. Gove claims the schools are failing and says that academy status is the only way to fix it.
David Lammy, a former pupil of Downhills primary one of the schools affected, stated that although he was not against academies in principle he was against the idea of forced academies. He stressed that school improvement was important but this was not primarily a question of structures.
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the NUT stressed that she was against academies in principle and the union supported those parents willing to fight this process. She emphasised that this was privatisation not school improvement.
Fiona Millar also spoke from the Local schools Network. “Even Thatcher did not do something as nasty as this” she said.
The final speaker was Alasdair Smith from the Anti Academies Alliance. Whist agreeing that some schools may need to be improved he pointed to the research that showed that the quality of an education system cannot exceed that of its teachers.
The speakers were followed by many angry teachers, parents and local school governors who all opposed the proposals.
The meeting was urged to come to lobby Parliament on Thursday 12th at 7pm when David Lammy will host an adjournment debate on the issue.
The meeting also backed a call for a demonstration on Saturday 28th January at 12 noon assembling at Downhills Primary and marching to Noel Park Primary, Nightingale Primary and on to the Haringey Civic Centre.

Click here for more information about the campaign in Haringey

Video of the speakers here

Alasdair Smith’s speech notes here

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1 Response to 600 at meeting to resist forced academies in Haringey

  1. Cornelius says:

    ‘Our support for academies is not based on an ideological whim but on evidence which started to accumulate under the Labour government’.So said Johnathan Hill, Parliamentary Secretary of State for Education in December.

    The ‘evidence’ on page 40 of the 2011 OFSTED Annual Report and Accounts is that ‘The proportion of Academies judged good or outstanding is similar to that of all secondary schools’.

    There is indeed scant evidence that academies do better than community comprehensive schools.

    Take Mossbourne Academy, Sir Michael Wilshaw’s previous school. It enjoyed MASSIVE extra funding the details of which remain confidential.

    I have calculated that Mossbourne Academy enjoyed a ratio of 7 students to EACH member of the teaching/support staff- a level of support that could only be dreamt of in community comprehensives.

    No doubting Sir Michael’s abilities, but what school wouldn’t do well with that level of funding?

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