Socialist Worker

Blyth Community College: campaigning against academies

by Tony Dowling
Issue No. 2031

Around 30 people attended a public meeting on Friday of last week to fight plans to build a controversial academy school in Northumberland. It urged the government to allow a referendum on the issue.

The academies are a flagship Labour project, but have been dogged with controversy because of fears over selection and privatisation.

Union leaders, parents and councillors have formed an anti-academy group, which is now backed by local Labour MP Ronnie Campbell,

Campbell told the meeting, “I will ask the minister if we can ballot the people of Blyth on this issue. If we were faced with the situation in Blyth where our schools were crumbling around our eyes, it might be that we would be forced to consider an academy school.

“But we have a £14 million college here – Blyth Community College – which is successful and delivering excellent results. I see academies as the beginning of privatisation of our schools.

“We can get the best results in Blyth from the college, and not from an academy. Let’s get the whole of Blyth together, and get them to stay together, and I will be with you all the way.”

Respect supporters at the meeting were well received and argued that the way to defeat this academy is to unite all those who oppose the plans. A petition against the academy has been signed by 2,000 people.

Anti-Academy protests:

Oldham Saturday 27 January, 11.30am, meet behind Oldham civic centre, West Street

Islington, Thursday 18 January, 5.30 pm, Islington Town Hall, Upper Street


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News
Sat 16 Dec 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2031
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