Anti-academy campaigners won a victory this week when Northampton council postponed plans to transform the Unity College secondary school into an academy.
This was supposed to open in September. But the council has backed down and postponed the plans until 2010.
John Henry is an NUT teachers’ union rep in Northampton and a parent of a child at Unity College. “We’ve given them absolute hell over the past year,” he told Socialist Worker.
“The council assumed that it could just do what it wanted. But it came up against resistance it didn’t know would be there.”
The Save Unity College campaign was set up to fight the academy, involving parents, pupils and community activists. They lobbied the Diocese of Peterborough, the lead sponsor for the academy.
They also protested at the “consultation” process that gave parents very little opportunity to have their say on the plans.
“We ran a good political campaign,” said John. “We talked about the nature of academies, and what they mean for education and workers’ rights.
“We’ve been celebrating – but we know it’s not the end. The school has put in place an interim executive board.
“We are resisting that because we think that the governing body should be in charge. But our victory will echo across the city.”