Some 50 trade unionists and campaigners met at the North West anti academies conference in Manchester last Saturday.
Speaking in the opening session, Labour MP Lisa Nandy spoke about education minister Michael Gove’s objectives. “What Gove is really about is turning the education system into private institutions,” she said. She also pointed out that the government is “permeating the education system with business ethics.”
Other sessions included campaigning against free schools and defending our education system.
Labour councillor Sarah Dodds, who led the campaign in Louth to prevent local schools becoming academies said, “I had never campaigned over anything in my life before this. Since our campaign not a single school in Louth has yet dared put in an academy application.”
Debs Gwynn used to be the NUT union rep at Oasis MediaCity. She said, “Three years ago when Oasis took over our school they proposed a 25 percent cut in staff.”
“I was responsible for special educational needs. Since I left, the job has never been filled.”
Late in the conference it came to light that Antony Adkins, Northern Regional Executive of the ULT group which runs 20 academies, had attended the first session, without admitting who he was.