Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tidemill Parents Question Academy Plans

A campaign has been started to oppose plans to turn Tidemill Primary School in Deptford into one of the country's first primary 'Academies'. Legislation to create Academies - independent schools funded by the government, but outside of any influence by local authorities -has been rushed through by the new ConDem government.

In the first instance, concerned parents are campaigning for a proper consultation about the proposals. They say: 'To consult with and inform parents, it has been suggested that over the summer holiday a random selection of 5 parents from each year followed by a one hour meeting by the Board of Governors is adequate. This petition is for a full and unbiased consultation with all parents and the local community before this important and far reaching change is pushed through to become an Academy'. They further argue:
  • 'The decision to become an academy can’t be reversed,
  • It affects whole community, not just current parents
  • Some claim it will mean more money, but others say this will mean taking money off other local schools
  • Some claim it will mean more freedom but other say parents will lose rights over Special Educational Needs etc
  • The school will be run by a ‘trust’ – a private company set up by the governors. We may like the current head and governors, but what happens when they leave?'
A public meeting has been arranged for Monday 6th September, 7 pm at the Albany, Douglas Way, SE8.

Truth to tell, the full implications of the ConDem Academy plans are still unclear as so little detail has been published. But what is clear is that the plans are driven by an ideological imperative to create a market of competing schools, with a greater role for private business, and a reduction in the already limited input for parents and the community on governing bodies.

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