Birmingham Labour Council says its principle is ‘Not to force schools down any route: Staying with current arrangements will remain an option for all schools.’
This commitment is in a letter sent on 11 July by Brigid Jones, the Cabinet Member for Education, to all schools and teacher unions. It represents a significant change of policy from that of the previous administration. It means that every primary school under threat of forced academisation can now say NO to Gove and tell Briscoe, the DfE hitman, to get off the premises. But Gove won’t give up without a fight, which means that schools – teachers, support staff, parents, governors – in alliance with the Local Authority need to be preparing now to fight back individually and collectively across Birmingham..
It is not just schools in underperforming categories that are under threat
Take Moor Green primary school. Look at its results. Well above the 60% threshold, progress at or above the national median, and Ofsted says doesn’t need ‘significant improvement’. But the school has been told it has to be taken over as an academy. Is any school safe?
2011 SATS L4EM
National average 74%
Moor Green 72%
Progress: up by 2 levels from KS1
National median 87%
Moor Green 89%
National median 86%
Moor Green 86%
Ofsted February 2011 Notice to Improve. New head and deputy appointed. Ofsted March 2012 ‘no longer requires significant improvement’.
You can read more about Gove’s plans to force 30 local primaries to become academies, and why parents and teachers should oppose the moves in this post: “No to Forced Academies in Birmingham”