Socialist Worker

Fight goes on as Tory lies over academies exposed

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2212

The Tories have been caught lying about their flagship academies policy.

Education secretary Michael Gove says around 2,000 schools have said they are interested in becoming academies—out of 24,000 in total.

But, yet again, it is coming to light that Gove’s list is wrong.

A headteacher in Gateshead contacted the Anti Academies Alliance to say his school shouldn’t have been on the list because it had never expressed any interest and didn’t want to become an academy.

He expressed fury at the Tories’ education policies.

The alliance says it knows of just 35 schools that have begun the process to become academies by September.

The government has not yet revealed its list of how many have begun the process as opposed to just expressing an interest.

And even if the original list had been accurate, it would still be a dismal reflection on how Gove’s academy plans have gone down in schools.

Most parents, teachers and children don’t want their school to be turned into an unaccountable academy.

They want properly funded comprehensive schools to be available for all children.

Force

But the Tories are attempting to force people to accept academies. They rushed their Academies Bill through parliament this week.

The bill makes it easier for schools to become academies—in effect state-funded schools that are privately run.

It is an assault on every working class child.

The bill went through with the support of the vast majority of Liberal Democrat MPs.

Just six Lib Dems out of 57 voted for an amendment calling for more consultation. The amendment was defeated.

The government is refusing to properly fund state schools, cutting vital rebuilding work and leaving them to rot.

It is giving us an ultimatum—take the academy route or sink—and that pressure will increase.

Gove has many things on his side.

The government has handed the New Schools Network (NSN), a so-called “independent charity”, £500,000—despite the fact it says it has no money.

The NSN is coincidentally promoting Gove’s plans for academies and free schools.

But we can create an alternative pressure.

Despite all their efforts, the Tories can’t get more than a tiny percentage of schools to put themselves forward to become academies.

New campaigns are springing up around the country to fight them.

Gove’s policy is not as strong as he pretends it is and real resistance is growing. It’s not too late to defeat him.

Go to www.antiacademies.org.uk


No to schools driven by profit

Leila Galloway has two children at Tidemill primary school in Deptford, south east London.

The headteacher has indicated that he wants the school to become an academy. Leila is campaigning against it.

“I object to the fact that there is no consultation about academies,” she told Socialist Worker. “There’s no warning—suddenly you just have an academy.

“Deptford is a very deprived area. The teachers have worked hard to make Tidemill a good school, but an academy would be driven by profit.

“I think it would affect the admissions policy.

“If support for children with special needs was seen as too expensive, it could mean the academy would take less children with special needs.

“We’ll end up with a school that isn’t serving the local community.

“I’ve found that the more I talk to other parents, the more support I have.

“When I spell out what it would mean, people are shocked.”


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Article information

News
Tue 27 Jul 2010, 17:54 BST
Issue No. 2212
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