Tag Archives: academies

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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Teachers, parents and community say No to forcing Montgomery Primary School to become an Academy

Teachers in the NASUWT and NUT, together with GMB members, are taking a one-day strike on Tuesday 13th. There will be a picket line on Tuesday morning – feel free to come along early and show your support. (White Rd Sparkbrook, B11 1EH)

And this Sunday 11 December at 1.30pm the local community is holding a public meeting against the Academy takeover at the Sparkbrook Community Centre, Sydenham Rd, Sparkbrook. Again, come along and give your support.

Montgomery is in the front line of primary schools on Gove’s hit list. A strong campaign there can inspire other schools to fight back.

The school’s KS2 SATs results and extracts from its latest (2009) Ofsted report say the school is satisfactory (with some good aspects) and is improving. Of course everyone – staff, parents and the community – want the best education for their children but forcing the school to become an Academy isn’t the answer. The local authority should reject the DfE’s demand that the school be handed over to an Academy chain (ARK seems to be its favourite choice) which would be completely unaccountable to local parents and the community, and instead work with other successful local schools in a support network with Montgomery.

Richard Hatcher

On behalf of AABA
As well as the email address on that page, AABA has a facebook page

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Midlands Anti-Academy Conference

Fighting Academy conversions and Free Schools

12th November

Birmingham & Midlands Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham, B3 3BS. (Behind the Council House)
Registration 9.30am

Conference 10am to 2pm

Workshops include

Free schools – dispelling the myths.
Building a community campaign.
Building a campaign amongst staff.

What do Academies mean for school governors and Head teachers

Speakers include:

Tim Crumpton, Shadow cabinet member, children’s services, Dudley Council

Nina Franklin NUT president
Hank Roberts, ATL senior vice president
Richard Hatcher, Professor of Education, Birmingham City University
Sarah Barton, Hands off Bourneville School

Organised by the Anti Academies Alliance

Click here to download leaflet

To register send your details to PO Box 14412, Birmingham, B11 9DZ

or Register online here

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From AABA: Victory at Bournville!

Academies can be defeated!

The combination of a forceful parents’ campaign and threat of united strike action by NASUWT and NUT members has resulted in the Bournville governors abandoning plans to convert to an Academy (at least for this school year). See below the letter from HOBS (Hands Off Bournville School).

The task now is to publicise their victory across the city so it can inspire staff and parents at other threatened schools to campaign in the same way.

Come and hear Sarah report on the Bournville campaign at the AAA Midlands regional conference on Novermber 12 in Birmingham – details here 

Discuss this and other Academy and free schol issues at the next AABA meeting on Monday 31October 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 On behalf of AABA

 

Dear Supporter

Success!

At the HOBS meeting last night we learnt that Governors have decided to abandon their Academy proposal for the rest of this academic year. Acting on the recommendation by the Headteacher Barbara Easton, Governors voted by an overwhelming majority to postpone consideration of Academy conversion until 31st August 2012. Further to this they agreed that any future re-consideration of Academy status will require a further period of full consultation. They decided that Academy conversion is not right for Bournville School at this time.

This is excellent news and I would like to thank you for your part in supporting the campaign. This result has been made possible, against the odds, by the combined efforts of concerned parents, members of the community and staff of Bournville School.

The future

Our work is not over yet, we still need to ensure that the current application for Academy conversion is withdrawn and that the DfE’s Academy Order for Bournville School will no longer apply. I will continue to keep you updated of our progress on this. We will also be keeping a close eye on the local and national picture regarding Academy conversion, as we fully expect to be revisiting this issue next Autumn.

With thanks again for your support,

Sarah Barton

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Kings Norton High School Academy threatened


There are going to be 2 public meetings in the next couple of weeks about the plans by ARK to turn Kings Norton High School into an academy.

According to the Anti Academies Alliance, ARK call themselves a ‘Philanthropic Cooperative’ but are an organisation run entirely by Hedge Fund managers. Hedge Funds are the finance companies which tipped the world into economic crisis in 2008. They make huge profits by gambling on market prices and they profit by driving down the value of bank shares. See the Anti Academies briefing, ‘Are Hedge Fund managers really the right people to be running our schools?’ at: http://www.antiacademies.org.uk.

[From NUT Briefing: http://www.teachers.org.uk/files/ARK-ACADEMIES-INFO.doc%5D

Details of the public meetings are:

Kings Norton High School, Shannon Road,Kings Norton,

Birmingham,West Midlands, B38 9DE

Thursday 6 October: 6pm – 7pm
Monday 10 October: 6pm – 7pm

A petition has been organised by parents and staff. Bob Whitehead, a local resident and activist with Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts wrote this article for the B31 Blog, which explains more about the campaign and why we should oppose academies.

No, for all the reasons [in this article], the Academy move is not a good idea. Parents should support their local school and keep it part of the local community and the community of schools in Birmingham. We are better off together than being hived off to private concerns. Harborne Hill School rejected ARK’s advances, so should Kings Norton High.

Hopefully, there will now be consultation and debate for the parents and community; something that will allow both sides of the argument to be put and a democratic decision taken afterwards.

There are too many reasons to simply reproduce them here – go and read the article to understand why academies in general and this one in particular should be opposed by parents, staff and students.

For more information or to get involved with this campaign contact Stirchley and Cotteridge against the Cuts at stirchleyanticuts@gmail.com

to get more involved with campaigns against academies in Birmingham, speak to Alliance against Birmingham Academies, c/o Birmingham NASUWT, Ludgate Court, 57 Water Street, Birmingham B3 1EP.

Upcoming event for AABA:
Next City Council Governors Forum meeting Monday 10 October 6.30

AABA will be leafletting this as usual but if you can go in and make your points please do – prior booking is essential, they say. (Check their website.) AABA leafletting from 5.30.

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