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New anti-academies fights launched as Village School celebrates step forward

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Issue 2633
NEU union members on strike at The Village School in January
NEU union members on strike at The Village School in January (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Workers and parents at The Village School in Brent, west London, were celebrating after a plan to turn the school into an academy was halted.

The school will stay with the local authority for the time being. Plans to turn it into an academy as part of a Multi Academy Trust have been “deferred” pending an Education and Skills Funding Agency investigation into financial “irregularities”.

The investigation was sparked after whistleblowing by NEU union members at the school. A consultant there is alleged to have been paid close to £240,000 in around two years for around eight days’ work a month.

Workers say that consultants have been paid with money intended for the education of children with special educational needs.

NEU members at the school have taken 13 days of strikes against the academy plan so far. They are seeking a further ballot for strikes to keep the school run by the local authority.

Parents and trade unionists in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, have launched a campaign to stop Mackie Hill primary school from becoming an academy.

The Department for Education has recommended the school become an academy. The plan follows major failings by the Wakefield City Academies Trust in the area.

Over 90 people attended a public meeting on Monday to launch a campaign to defend Mackie Hill.

Nearly 1,000 people have signed a petition against The Barclay School in Stevenage being turned into an academy.

A Multi Academy Trust is set to take over the school in January.

Parent Amanda Feagan who started the petition said, “Turning the school into an academy is making it private.

“I didn’t choose this—I sent my children to a state school.”

Go to Hands Off Barclay on Facebook

Parents in Lewes, Sussex, are opposing plans to convert six schools in and around the town into academies. Hundreds joined a public meeting on Tuesday of last week. Over 450 people have signed a petition calling to scrap the plan.

The schools affected are Lewes Priory School, Iford and Kingston CE Primary School, Wallands CP School, Southover CE Primary School, Western Road CP School and South Malling CE Primary School.

Sign the petition at

People packed a meeting at Waltham Abbey town hall in Essex on Monday to oppose the academisation of Waltham Holy Cross Primary School. Net Academy Trust is the proposed sponsor.

Parents claim an Ofsted report, which placed the school in special measures, was flawed. They say Net was already in talks about taking over the school before it was released.

People argued for protests.

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