Socialist Worker

Fighting against academies

Issue No. 2108

The Anti Academies Alliance (AAA) has produced a statement in response to schools secretary Ed Balls’ alarming announcement that 638 secondary schools across Britain should “improve or close”.

Balls gave the schools 50 days to come up with a plan to avoid being closed or transformed into academies.

The list amounts to 20 percent of secondary schools in Britain. The announcement signals a major ratcheting up of the government’s attacks on comprehensive schools.

The list of supposedly “failing” schools included 26 academies and a number of schools that Ofsted had judged to be “outstanding”.

The AAA’s statement calls on the government to withdraw its description of the 638 schools as “failing” and to remove the threat of closure or conversion into academy or private trust schools. It calls on trade unionists to circulate and sign the statement.

Signatories so far include a number of MPs, academics, education journalists and trade unionists. To sign the statement and get copies for your workplace go to »

The campaign against academies in Bolton is growing. A ballot of Unison union members for industrial action against plans to turn two schools in Bolton, Hayward and Withins, into academies is due to end this week. This follows several one-day strikes by NUT members at the Withins school against the academy plans.

The ATL and NUT unions are also balloting for action at the Hayward school and the NUT has also issued a legal challenge to Bolton council, calling the consultation over the plans “a cynical sham”.

In the first vote of its kind Sheffield City Council has decided to ballot parents in Parkwood school to decide if the school will become an academy. The AAA believes every council that wants to change a school into an academy run by an un-elected sponsor should hold a ballot.

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Tue 1 Jul 2008, 18:49 BST
Issue No. 2108
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