Socialist Worker

Outrage over forced academy conversions

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2284

Teachers, parents, students and campaigners are fighting the forced imposition of academy schools in Haringey, north London.

Five primary schools in the borough face an imminent threat of forced academy status, including Downhills primary school.

Activists fear that many more schools could come under threat in the near future.

Schools Minister Lord Hill wrote to Downhills school last December. He said that if the school refused to agree to convert to academy status by 27 January then the government would impose it.

Downhills has become one of the most high-profile schools in the campaign, partly because David Lammy MP went there as a child.

Lammy has launched a petition to parliament against the forced conversion.

The Labour group of councillors has unanimously voted to oppose forced academy status for any primary school in Haringey.

There is a strong campaign group in the area. It has called a public meeting at Downhills school for 7pm next Monday.

The general secretary of the NUT union, Christine Blower, will speak alongside writer and activist Fiona Millar.

Dave Gilchrist is a teacher and NUT union member in Haringey. He told Socialist Worker, “Academy conversions don’t just affect the schools that become academies. They affect all schools.

“Academies take large chunks of schools out of local authority control which means local authorities have less money for state-run schools.

“The threat to impose academies in Haringey has sparked a lot of opposition. We have the potential to keep our schools public.”

The campaign in Haringey highlights a national drive by the Tories to impose hundreds of academies across Britain.

If they are forced back in Haringey, it will give campaigners everywhere confidence to take them on.

See for more details about the campaign, to download materials and to sign the petition against academies.

The Anti Academies Alliance will be holding its AGM on Saturday 14 January. See

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Article information

Tue 3 Jan 2012, 18:15 GMT
Issue No. 2284
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