Monday, 12 July 2010

Gove turns a crap idea with reasonable motivation - academies - on its head, now it's a crap idea with no justification

Here are some basic arguments from the website of the Anti Academies Alliance on what's wrong with Michael Gove's academies proposal. This scheme from New Labour that aimed to raise standards in deprived areas by building a posh new school and bringing in "expertise" from private business, is being turned on its head as "outstanding" schools in leafy suburbs are being offered a fast track to academy status.

Barnet unions will be at the protest on 19 July in central London.

Anti Academies Alliance backs the 19th July lobby of Parliament called by education unions
On the second reading of the Academies Bill, Monday 19th July, the education unions have called a lobby of Parliament over the cuts in the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.

While Michael Gove is slashing the rebuilding of hundreds of schools around the country he is promising extra money for any school that becomes an Academy, and to anybody who wants to open a ‘Free’ school.

The crisis over BSF is intimately linked with the Academies programme. In many places Academies were forced on Local Authorities in order to secure BSF funding. In some areas all that remains are projects to build Academies. The divisive nature of this highlights our concerns about the tendency towards greater social segregation.

We are also concerned that the government will use the October comprehensive spending review to put academies and 'free' schools at the top of the priority list.

But our main focus remains the Academies Bill which gets its second reading on the 19th July. This bill seeks to develop a 'revolution' in education policy by which academies become 'the norm'. As it stands, the Bill denies parents (or staff and the local community) the right to any consultation over the decision to seek academy status. It paves the way for an unprecedented deregulation and privatisation of schools. It will create the conditions for the undermining of Local Authority support for schools in vital areas such as SEN, admissions and behaviour. It will prevent the rational planning of school places in the future allowing dis-economies of scale to develop. The new 'free' schools it will encourage will mean other schools have to close.

The AAA urges anti academies campaigns around the country to mobilise for the lobby. We urge parents to join with us.

The future of a good local school for every child is in question. Let's ensure our voices are heard.

Rally at Methodist Central hall, opposite Parliament, 1pm, 19 July, followed by lobby of MPs.

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