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Nicky Morgan’s retreat on total academisation by 2022 is a humiliation. Like Gove before her, she now has to face reality: right wing ideology does not make good education policy. All the rhetoric about choice, markets and autonomy are really just hot air. The market cannot be trusted to deliver high quality education for all.
We have won a partial retreat – it is an important victory. But piecemeal academy conversion will continue unless parents and teachers fight every attempt to convert.
Too many heads and governors are using bogus excuses to convert. There is no good reason to convert. Even where schools are struggling, the evidence shows they are turned round faster if they remain with local authorities.
Nick Gibb and Nicky Morgan will now have to explain how they will make this chaotic system of different providers work. How will academy chains and MATs be made accountable? How will the needs of SEN children be protected?
When promoting the White Paper, Gibb and Morgan argued that it was not possible to sustain this unaccountable and chaotic mixed economy. They said full academisation was the answer. Now that has been rejected, are we going to move to an accountability framework that applies to all schools equally and administered locally?
Nicky Morgan has crashed the gears into reverse in order to avoid defeat. But she is still not fit to drive the car. #nickymustgo
Following the brilliant meeting of 200 parents at the Parents Defending Education event a number of other rallies have been organised.
There will be PaDE meeting in Liverpool on Monday 9th May. This is followed by a meeting in Manchester on 14 May. There are also a number of local meetings being called.
No to Forced Academies in Stoke Newington:
You will probably be aware that the Government is planning to force all schools (including primaries) to become academies. This proposal seriously threatens to undermine the essential character of our children’s local schools by compelling them to become part of privately run academy chains. The proposals also remove the rights of parents to be represented on school governing bodies, and would reduce the training given to teachers.
Understandably, the Government White Paper has been met with widespread opposition. A national campaign is being launched, sponsored, amongst others, by Michael Rosen, the NUT and some parent groups.
We are a small group of parents in the Stoke Newington area who want to organise in support of this campaign and in support of keeping all our children’s schools, primary and secondary, locally run. We want to work with Hackney NUT, and other local bodies who support these aims.
As a first step we are inviting you to a meeting to explore the potential for mounting a campaign and thinking about ways we can raise awareness amongst other parents:
Wednesday 27 April at the 125 Bar (downstairs room) on Church Street (opposite The Red Lion Pub) at 7pm
Please let me know if you:
· would like to be added to an email list of interested parents
· can come along on Wednesday evening
Please forward this email to any other parents you know who might be interested in getting involved.
Jane Coles (I have a daughter at Stoke Newington School)
Dr Jane Coles
The Conservatives are trying to force the academisation of all our schools. This is a top down re-organisation, costing over £1 billion – without a shred of evidence that academies improve standards – that teachers, governors and parents do not want.
At a time when the education budget is being cut for the first time in twenty years, Labour wants money spent on driving up standards.
This weekend, Labour will be campaigning to stop academisation and for investment in education. So, if you believe education matters, if you believe all our children matter, if you believe that every child has a right to go to a local school and do their best and succeed – join us, Labour, in opposing academies.
There has been a national call to action from Cllr Nick Forbes – Leader of LGA Labour Group, Leader of Newcastle City Council, and Cllr Richard Watts – Vice-Chair of the LGA Children & Young People Board, Leader of Islington Council. (The LGA is the national body representing all councils in England.)
It’s vital that the children in the communities we represent get the best start in life.
By working in partnership with schools and communities, local councils are able to help improve standards and ensure that schools serve the needs of local communities.
But all this is at risk from a Tory Government that has announced reckless ideological plans to force all schools to become academies.
We need to organise our efforts to halt this damaging proposal – which, we must remember, is by no means certain to happen.
It’s astonishing that, at a time of major cuts to school budgets, the Government would propose spending hundreds of millions turning all schools into academies when there is not a shred of evidence that it will help improve education standards.
Over 80 per cent of maintained schools have been rated good or excellent by Ofsted, while three times as many councils perform above the national average in terms of progress made by students than the largest academy chains. When a school is struggling, we must take action – but converting every school to an academy, without giving parents a say, is not the answer.
We have already spoken out strongly against these plans. And it’s telling that Tory councillors across the country are furious about them too.
The Government needs to listen to the concerns of parents, teachers, unions, local representatives and experts and rethink the proposals. We have already met with Lucy Powell MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, and have agreed to work together to campaign against these proposals. But we need the expertise and support of Labour Councillors to really make the Government listen.
The first job we have as Labour Councillors is to get the message out that these changes are not inevitable and governing bodies should not rush to convert. Schools should make the decision about their status that is right for them and not feel pushed into converting now.
We want to hear from you about the local efforts you are making to organise against these proposals. Whether it’s organising a meeting of school governors, linking up with teaching unions, or supporting parents to write to your local paper criticising the removal of their say over how their children’s schools are run. We want to be able to use your efforts to show just how widespread the opposition is to this illogical Tory plan.
We will keep you up to date with what we are doing from the LGA Labour Group, but we must all start working to resist these changes now.
Cllr Nick Forbes – Leader of LGA Labour Group, Leader of Newcastle City Council
Cllr Richard Watts – Vice-Chair of the LGA Children & Young People Board, Leader of Islington Council