Tag Archives: academies

Strike At Hamstead Hall School Against Academy Proposals – Thursday

birmingham NUT#NUT Members at Hamstead Hall School will be taking strike action this Thursday 25th April, in relation to the proposed conversion to academy status. Picket from first light

Please rush messages of support and solidarity to Giles Thomas, NUT school rep at ThomasG@hamsteadhall.com

We understand they are attempting to open the school for some year groups so there will be an opportunity to leaflet parents.

There will be a picket line from first light.

Address: Craythorne Avenue Handsworth Wood Birmingham B20 1HL

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Victory at West Heath Primary School

Excellent news as West Heath Primary School will not become an academy

communitiesagainstthecuts

Last night, a representative of the Local Authority told the parents that as the schools results had gone up, the academy bid would be halted. All the details are not yet clear; it may be that this is a temporary victory and the DfE mounts a counter-attack. But we can still savour the moment. The academy bulldozer has been stopped. The school, pupils and staff will stay with the Local Authority and not be handed over to a private sponsor. We can expect to see the back of the most recent one, Oasis, a group Evangelists.
 There are several points to bear in mind here.
 It was the Governing Body, including the Head Teacher, that signed up to an intent to convert to an academy late last year. They should issue an apology for their bowing to DfE pressure and keeping the parents in the dark for so long. There should…

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Anti Academy Demonstration at West Heath Primary School

Last Friday, parents, teachers and supporters held a protest at West Heath Primary School which is threatened with academy status.
For the Birmingham Mail report on the demonstration, click here.

You can read more about why academies should be opposed by clicking here:

communitiesagainstthecuts

This story should be covered in the Birmingham Mail tomorrow (Saturday)

 

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Birmingham Labour Council Says No To Gove’s Forced Academies Plan

From the Alliance Against Birmingham Academies:

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%
Threshold 60%
Moor Green 72%

Progress: up by 2 levels from KS1
English
National median 87%
Moor Green 89%
Maths
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”

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No to Forced Academies in Birmingham

Michael Gove plans to seize around 30 Birmingham Primary schools and turn them into academies.

These schools are currently run by the Council. It means that the schools are democratically accountable to us and if the Councillors neglect our schools we can vote them out. Michael Gove wants to hand them over to unelected academy chains, many run by businessmen in the same way they run their businesses.

Despite the claims by the government and the media academies are not ‘proven to succeed’. The most recent GCSE results show that 27% have seen their results decline or remain the same.

Many academies have relied on NVQs and other exams which have been considered to be equivalent to several GCSEs to improve the position in the league tables. The government have now abolished these equivalents and academies have seen some dramatic falls. The ARK academy in Birmingham, St Albans, fell from 67% to 22% when equivalents were removed.

Henry Stewart, a school governor in Hackney, has gone through the figures and has a devastating critique of academies in this video.

We need to defend our schools and prevent them being turned into academies. All of our schools should be run for the local community in the interests of local children, not run by a Chief Executive on a Fat Cat salary from some office in Surrey or London.

Many of the schools that Michael Gove wants to seize are in areas with high unemployment and poverty. Our children don’t have the benefits that the millionaires in the government can give their children. But this doesn’t mean our schools are failing or underperforming.

We all want the best for our children and want them to get the best education they can. Of course some of our schools need improving. To do this they need investment. They need more teachers and teaching assistants. Their governors and headteachers need help in improving their schools. But how does Michael Gove describing some of our schools, and kids, as failing and threatening to sack headteachers, governors and staff really help?

In London, parents, staff and Governors in Downhills School are standing up to the bully boy tactics of Michael Gove. We can do the same.

In Birmingham parents and staff at Bournville school successfully prevent their school from becoming an academy.

We need many more campaigns like those seen at Downhills and Bournville. Now teachers in many of the schools that Gove is threatening are preparing to stand together to defend their schools. Parents and staff across Birmingham need to unite to save our local schools. Our schools and children are too important to leave in the hands of unelected, fat-cat privateers. Join the campaign to keep it that way!

The Anti Academies Alliance is producing a newspaper to distribute at the schools. If you are a parent or staff member at the school, or are able to help distribute newspapers and leaflets at a primary school in Birmingham, please contact the AAA on office@antiacademies.org.uk or 07528 201 697.

There is a public meeting opposing the forced academies in Northfield: Northfield Baptist Church, 789 Bristol Road South, Northfield, Birmingham – Thursday 10th May at 6pm

Update: 13 schools have balloted staff to take strike action over this issue

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Photo and Quick Report from Protest at Michael Gove’s Visit to Birmingham

We heard late last night that Michael Gove, the education secretary, was to pay a visit to Ninestiles Academy in Acocks Green, and put the call out for people to join a protest for his lunchtime visit. Around 15-20 people made it on a weekday lunchtime, with BBC Midlands Today along to cover the protest.

Unfortunately, Michael Gove shifted the time of his vist to the morning so he was gone before anyone was there to protest him – a decision presumably taken upon hearing of the protest, especially given the recent 100 strong picket at Montgomery School, which is being forced to become an academy as part of a policy introduced by Michael Gove to make more schools academies.

Nevertheless, a lively and enjoyable picket was held with members of Birmingham Against the Cuts joining NUT, Unison and GMB members, and some pupils at Ninestiles who joined the protest briefly, and explained that they were not happy at the changes that had happened as a result of the school becoming an academy.

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Michael Gove Visiting Birmingham Today (Friday) – Protest 1pm

Michael Gove, education secretary, is visiting Ninestiles Academy today (friday 27th).  There will be a protest from 1pm

Ninestiles Academy, Hartfield Crescent, Birmingham, B27 7FQ

Michael Gove is responsible for the accelaration of the academy process, which undermines the collective purchasing power of schools, atomises the education system, makes it harder for trade unions as there will be thousands of employers (each school) rather than just one and makes it easier to bring in private education companies in the future (there is no outward suggestion of such a policy, but we only need look at the NHS to know that the Tory party would do it if they felt they could).

He is also responsible for Free Schools, which can be run by individuals and private companies, outside of the national curriculum or oversight by local authorities, and which can be run for profit.

He has sent bibles to schools with a foreword written by himself, and called for £60m to be spent on a yacht for the Queen for the Jubilee celebrations next year, whilst cutting schools budgets by slashing the School Sports Programme, music programmes and allowing Connexions careers advisers to be removed from schools without acquiring additional funding for the schools.  These are just examples of the numerous cuts that have been made to schools budgets over the past year, without affecting the central funds, allowing the ConDem coalition to claim they are not cutting education budgets.

Come and join us tomorrow and let Gove know that he is not welcome in Birmingham

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Photos from Montgomery School Strike Against Academy Status

Montgomery Primary School, in Sparkbrook, is being forced to become an academy – among the first primary schools to do so. This move is opposed by teachers, support staff and parents. Today saw staff out on strike again, with a picket of around 100 people, comprising of staff, parents and supporters. You can read a full report on the strike from the Alliance Against Academies here. There is a public meeting tomorrow evening about this issue.

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Montgomery Primary School Strike and Public Meeting

Montgomery Primary school is being forced to become an academy, a move which both teachers and parents are opposed to. In December, all staff went on strike, and were joined by parents on the picket line. They will be on strike again on the 25th January.

The following day, Parents at Montgoomery School have a public meeting:

Thursday 26th January 7.30pm-9pm

Community Hall, Sparkbrook Islamic Centre, Sydenham Road, Sparkbrook B11 1ND (Children welcome)

Speakers

  • Roger Godsiff, Labour MP for Birmingham Hall Green
  • Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary, NUT
  • Anne Brimacombe, national executive member, NASUWT
  • speakers from NAHT and GMB unions
  • speaker from ‘Parents at Montgomery school’ campaign
  • Richard Hatcher, Alliance Against Birmingham Academies

The government, supported by the headteacher and some of the governors, are planning to turn Montgomery primary school into an Academy owned and run by a private Academy chain. The school would no longer be part of the Birmingham local authority family of schools. It would become a ‘government school’, accountable only to Michael Gove, the secretary of state for education, in London. The private owners would appoint the governing body and make the key decisions in London, with no voice at all for parents and community. Elected local councillors would no longer have any role to play on behalf of parents.

 

The government claims that forcing Montgomery to become an Academy would raise standards. It won’t. The evidence from existing Academies is that on average they do no better than existing schools with a similar intake of pupils and doing the same exams.

An Academy doesn’t have to keep to national and local agreements with the unions. In fact it doesn’t even have to recognise unions. Would that attract and keep good teachers?

 

Other primary schools in Birmingham are also under threat of being forced into an Academy takeover. We say, join us and say no. They will tell you nothing can be done – there is no choice. Of course they want you to believe this – but they are wrong. Academies can be stopped – as the Bournville school campaign showed!

 

Teachers in NASUWT and NUT, and GMB members, are all on strike on Wednesday 25 January. This is their second strike – that’s how strongly they feel. They need your support.

Follow us on Facebook – “save Montgomery School”

Click here to download the leaflet

Midlands Today ran an article about the Montgomery School campaign on Wednesday 18th January

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Report from Montgomery Primary School Strike

This report is from December’s strike, If you’re looking for information about January’s strike please click here

Teachers and school support staff, went on strike today at Montgomery Primary School in Sparkbrook against their school becoming an Academy.
The three Trade Unions at the school, National Union of Teachers (NUT), NAS/UWT and the GMB, all voted to strike as their voices were not being heard.

They were strongly supported by the parents. One Parent, who has children at the school said

I went to this school myself and want it to remain in the local authority and for this community. Who knows what could happen if it was taken out of local control?

Another parent said,

Now, parents and teachers have a say in the governing body. If it became an academy we would not have any rights to influence decisions about our children’s education.

The picket at the school from 7.30-9pm was very well supported at least 60 staff, parents and members of the community were there. It was lively, friendly and good fun with plenty of chanting, flag waving. The picket was supported by the Anti Academy Birmingham Alliance and the Birmingham Trades Union Council. Congratulations to all who participated. I was certainly proud to be
amongst people who cared so much about the future of education and their community. We wish Montgomery School and its caring community success in their campaign against becoming an academy.

Mary Pearson, retired teacher (NUT) and Vice President of Birmingham Trades Union Council

(For further information re Academies see: http://antiacademies.org.uk )

See also Anti-Academies Alliance report on the strike, with more photos and video

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