Fighting Academies: Montgomery School Public Meeting

On the 26th of January in Sparkbrook, Birmingham- Montgomery Primary School  held a public meeting at a local mosque. The meeting was well attended by the local community, parents staff and trade unions involved in the fight to stop Montgomery Primary School becoming an academy. The speakers included Rich Hatcher from the Alliance Against Birmingham Academies and speakers from all the trade unions involved in the campaign (NUT,NASUWT and GMB) as well as parents. The speakers made clear that the academy programme is an ideological attempt to further privatise education.

Education's Trojan Horses: thoughts of an ex-academy worker.

Some thoughts of an academy school worker in England.

I’ve recently taught in an academy school for over two years, and in that time I saw a lot of things that have angered me as a worker and as someone who values education, and made even more apparent to me the need for a radical overhaul in education that can only be achieved by revolutionary change in society as a whole.

Fighting Academies: Downhills Primary School

Downhills Primary School, in Tottenham, North London, is fighting a strong community campaign against attempts to turn it into a sponsored academy.
Participation in the campaign has been huge. “I haven’t seen anything like it since the eighties,” said one mother looking at a packed meeting of over 600 people.
In January, more than a thousand people marched through Tottenham in support of the four Haringey primaries which are under threat of being handed over to academy sponsors, including teachers from all over London. They have shown support to other schools across the country which are rejecting academy status.

FAQ: Opposing Academies and “Free” Schools

What are Academies?

The academy schools program began in 2000 under New Labour. They are state sector schools run independent of local authority control and with a private sponsor. Less than two ago, there were less than 300 academies in England, but the Academies Act 2010 sought to expand the number of academies and there are now over 1600. Some  schools that are deemed 'outstanding' by Ofsted have been ‘fast-tracked’. It is thought that many 'outstanding schools may not even need a sponsor, and might be able to opt straight out of local authority control regardless.

EW Issue 8: Academy Special

The latest issue of Education Worker, the EWN's bulletin is out, with an Academies Special! We lift the lid on what's happening in schools and academies in particular: what they are, what they do, why they are a problem and what should be done about it. EW#8 can be downloaded from the site, or ask your nearest SolFed local.


A funeral for education

Teachers, parents, and students in Sefton are currently engaged in a struggle to stop a number of schools in the area becoming academies. As part of that fight, they today held a "funeral for education" in Liverpool. Despite the wet weather, a number of people joined the mock funeral procession from St George's Hall to St Luke's Church and handed out leaflets to the public about the issue of academies and why they should be opposed.

Members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation were amongst those present on the march, as were those involved in a similar struggle over Shorefields College in the Dingle - whose picket lines we have previously supported.

Dingle community keeps up the fight for Shorefields

Teachers at Shorefields College in the Dingle have once again taken strike action against the possibility of the school becoming an academy. The latest day of action has seen the fight grow, with support staff in the GMB walking out alongside teachers from the NUT and NASUWT.

The picket line was well supported. Parents, teachers and support staff were joined by several pupils from the school - whilst members of the Merseyside Network Against Fees and Cuts, Liverpool Trades Council and Liverpool Solidarity Federation were amongst those who turned up in support. The Liverpool Socialist Choir also added a bit of noise to the event, providing lively renditions of workers and trade union songs, old and new.