Socialist Worker

More than academic victory

Issue No. 1924

PARENTS, pupils and teachers in Doncaster have forced the local authority to scrap plans to hand over a school to the businessman Sir Peter Vardy.

The announcement last week that a “city academy” will now not be built on the site of Northcliffe School is a major boost to parents and teachers who are campaigning elsewhere against these state-funded schools in private hands.

Members of the Conisbrough and Denaby Parents Action Group, who organised a 200-strong march to call for Northcliffe to remain under LEA control, were delighted by the news.

“I’m over the moon,” said Tracy Morton. “If the school had been taken out of local authority control we would have lost the opportunity to be involved in the decisions that affect our children’s education. Thankfully we will still have this chance and are not prepared to lose it again.”

School students recently organised their own protest against the planned academy.

The Northcliffe campaign should serve as a model in other areas threatened by the imposition of an academy.

As elsewhere, the local community was told accepting effective privatisation was the only way to get extra funds.

But a sustained campaign, initially by only a minority of parents, ripped apart the case for the academy and, crucially, centred their arguments on the need for democratic control over the school.

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Sat 23 Oct 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1924
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