Staff at Islington Green School in north London recently voted in a secret ballot by 89 to three against their school becoming a semi-privatised academy.
The vote was taken against a background of rising class sizes which have resulted from 15 teachers being made “voluntarily redundant” last term and not replaced.
In July, Islington’s Liberal Democrat council executive ignored a well-supported and noisy protest lobby and agreed to issue a closure notice on the school. It could then be handed over for £2 million to be run by two sponsors—the fat cat Corporation of London and City University. This is despite the school’s GCSE results improving at ten times the rate of existing academies!
At a subsequent meeting of the council’s Overview Committee, the decision to issue the notice was only ratified on the casting vote of the chair after Labour councillors, to their credit, voted against the proposal.
After the NUT teachers’ union threatened to take the closure decision to judicial review, it was withdrawn for “further consideration”.
If Islington council goes ahead with issuing a closure notice on the school we will have to redouble our efforts in order to persuade the subsequent meeting of the Schools Organisation Committee to reject the proposal.
In any case, Islington Campaign Against Academies will be sending a large delegation to the national Conference Against Academies and Trust Schools in London on 25 November to share experiences and coordinate our activities with campaigners in other parts of the country.
Anti-Academies conference, Institute of Education, London. Saturday 25 November, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org