Parents, workers and students are organising a mass campaign against academies in Gloucestershire. Private firm Prospects Group is set to take over Whitcross School in Lydney and run it as an academy from September.
This is the same firm responsible for a government work programme that left people sleeping under a bridge before working during the queen’s diamond jubilee.
Now it has said it would not sign a model union recognition agreement in an academy school. Parents held three stalls in Lydney last Saturday campaigning against the plan.
The Prospects Group took over another Gloucester school, Gloucester Academy, in 2010. In March inspectors said there were “serious concerns” about the standard of education provided there.
Plans to open a free school in east London have collapsed—due to a lack of interest from parents.The collapse came just weeks before the Newham Free Academy was due to open in September.
The NASUWT teaching union has backed the Co-op as a sponsor of academies. The union says this is an alternative to privatisation.
Yet schools run by the Co-op are still outside local authority control. Unions should oppose all privatisation in education.