Campaign against Academies hots up

the campaign against Academies in Birmingham is hotting up: strikes and public meeting at Fairfax, campaign and parents’ meeting at Bournville, public meeting at Rookery.

Fairfax

On Tuesday and Wednesday this week Fairfax NUT members were on strike against the school becoming an Academy. Because of the inadequate consultation with parents the Fairfax Against Academy School Trust (FAAST) campaign organised a public meeting. 50 came, mainly parents and staff. Speakers were John Hemingway (NASUWT secretary), Roger Barley (local campaigner), Sharon (parent at local school) and Martin Ogilvie (NUT regional official). In the discussion it was clear that everyone was very unhappy with the so-called consultation and weren’t convinced by the Academy argument. Several participants have written complaining to the chair of governors – I’ve collected them together in the attached document (read it from the bottom up). See also a Fairfax schoolstudent’s letter on the AABA Facebook wall.

The school becomes an Academy tomorrow (Friday 1 July). Staff are considering what to do next.

Bournville

Sarah Barton, a parent, has been leading a campaign, with leaflets at local festivals and forceful emails and letters to the school demanding proper consultation. Staff have voted strongly against the Academy proposal. The first consultation meeting for parents was held on Wednesday, with around 50 present, very critical of the proposal. The parents’ campaign has organised a public meeting on Tuesday 12 July at 5pm at the Rowheath Pavilion, Heath Rd, B30 1HH. See the attached document compiling Sarah’s exchanges with the school, and also the public meeting flyer. Please contact Sarah if you can help (email address on flyer). Meanwhile staff are now planning balloting for strike action.

Rookery

Same story of sham consultation. AABA held a public meeting last week with about 15 present, mainly parents and a couple of staff, one the deputy head, who refused to argue the case for the academy or to agree to any proper consultation.

Also around ten AABA supporters held a stall at the Dean’s lecture on Academies at Birmingham City University on 16 June.

Several new schools are moving towards Academy conversion. AABA needs your help – please email me if you have information or might be available to help campaign.

The next open planning meeting of the Alliance Against Birmingham Academies will be on Monday 4 July at 6pm at the NASUWT offices, Ludgate Ct, Water St. We hope you will be able to come. (If you arrive late and the door is locked phone 07815 962157 and someone will come down and open it.)

Richard Hatcher, Alliance Against Birmingham Academies (AABA)

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