Tag Archives: Academy

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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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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Report from Alliance against Birmingham Academies

Tuesday 11 January. Richard Hatcher spoke with powerpoint presentation to meeting of around 25 governors of the Four Oaks cluster of 9 primary schools at Hill West primary, organised by the head, Beth Clarke.

Wednesday 12 January. About a dozen Alliance Against Birmingham Academies (AABA) supporters leafleted a meeting at Rookery primary school Handsworth organised by the head, Tracy Stone, with a speaker from Anthony Collins, Birmingham solicitors specialising in Academy conversion. (We hear that the chair of governors is employed by Anthony Collins – we’re following this up.) Heads of the 29 schools in the Handsworth Association of schools were invited – 12-15 attended. AABA has asked to speak at a future meeting of the HAS and we are hopeful of being included in the February meeting.

Thursday 13 January.

Richard Hatcher spoke with powerpoint presentation to meeting of heads of the 26 primary schools in the Sutton Coldfield consortium, organised by the head, Beth Clarke. The response at the Four Oaks and Sutton meetings can be summarised as: we don’t like Academies, we don’t want to leave the Local Authority, though we have criticisms of it, we don’t like the cuts, we don’t like being blackmailed by the government into becoming Academies, but if it’s a choice between that and losing jobs we reluctantly will. So all depends on the school budget allocation to be announced next month. However, a trickle of secondary schools are already taking the decision. Ninestiles and Arthur Terry/Stockland Green have already decided, as have the 5 King Edward grammar schools. We have just learned that Lordswood Girls, Bartley Green, Perry Beeches and Kings Norton Girls are planning to convert. Unions need to rapidly contact their reps and members and arrange meetings. One factor in schools deciding is the support services the LA can offer. They are now being turned into semi-privatised traded services, putting staff’s jobs and the survival of services at risk. The Campaign to Retain Our Support Services – CROSS – has two important activities in the next few days. They need our support.

Saturday 15th January – Petitioning outside Waterstones, Bullring, Birmingham City Centre. Before Christmas, we managed to collect almost 2000 signatures. A brilliant start but we need thousands more.

Forthcoming Meeting Monday 31 January 6pm – AABA planning meeting – NASUWT offices, Ludgate Ct, Water St. You are very welcome to attend. Please let us know if you are able to help with leafleting etc or have useful contacts – or if you have information about Academy and free school developments. The meeting will include a report back from the Anti-Academies Alliance AGM this Saturday.

Richard Hatcher On behalf of AABA

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