Since the very well attended meeting held at Downhills School on 12th December, things have moved very quickly for the four primary schools under threat. Each school received a letter from the DfE in the last week of term informing them that they have until mid-January 2012 to decide to become an academy. If they don’t to this, the threat is that the DfE will disband the Governing Bodies and replace them with Interim Executive Boards to facilitate the process of forcing academy status on these schools. Lord Hill (parliamentary under-Secretary of State) has since extended the deadline by one week; for Downhills this is the 20th January.
The Save Downhills campaign has received national press coverage in ‘The Guardian’; in one article, our MP David Lammy who attended the school as a child called the actions by the DfE ‘undemocratic and brutal’ and, in another, the Education Correspondent Warwick Mansell visited the school and was impressed with its inclusive, creative and happy atmosphere. David Lammy MP is now fully behind the campaign. The Labour Group of Councillors have also unanimously voted to oppose forced academy status for Haringey primary schools, have passed resolutions to this purpose and established a working group.
It is essential that the DfE’s bullying does not go unnoticed. There are various actions organised from the very beginning of term, to enable people to find out more about what is at stake and become involved in the campaign.
Sat 7th January. A number of organisations including the NUT will be organising stalls around Haringey to let more people in the community know about the current threat to local primary schools. Please contact us if you would like to be involved in running a stall and we can put you in touch with the organisers.
Mon 9th January 7pm. There will be a large, open meeting at Downhills School. Speakers include the General Secretary of the NUT Christine Blower, Fiona Miller from the Local Schools Network and Alasdair Smith from the Anti Academies Alliance. David Lammy MP, several supportive local councillors, teachers, governors, parents and carers from Downhills and other local schools will be attending. The meeting has been organised to build the anti-academy campaign in Haringey and to support the schools under threat.
We will also be recording our campaign song ‘Save Our School’ during this week, followed by a bring a dish ‘Celebrate our School’ party afterwards. The recording will be a major publicity opportunity for our campaign; press will be invited and the completed song will be uploaded to YouTube. Please e-mail us for further information.
Other Haringey primaries under threat will be holding meetings with staff and parents/carers, involving speakers from the Anti-Academies Alliance.
We are anticipating things continuing to move quickly at the beginning of term. To keep up to date with our campaign and the threat to Haringey primary schools in general, you can:-
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/
Or follow us on Twitter @Save_Downhills.