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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 January 2012

Haringey parents say: No to academies!

Paul Gerrard, National Union of Teachers
16 February teachers at Chestnut Grove School in Balham, Wandsworth, south London, went on strike to show their opposition to the school becoming an academy.

16 February 2011 teachers at Chestnut Grove School in Balham, Wandsworth, south London, went on strike to show their opposition to the school becoming an academy.   (Click to enlarge)

Primary school parents in Haringey, north London, are in the front line of the battle against the Con-Dems' destruction of our education. Five Haringey schools, which supposedly do not meet the government's 'floor' targets for results, are threatened with being compulsorily turned into academies.

Over 600 people attended a Haringey meeting to organise against the bullying tactics of the government. Saturday 28 January will see a massive demonstration through the streets of Haringey.

Already education secretary Michael 'Royal Yacht' Gove has had to back down: one of the schools, Downhills School, where results have improved recently, will undergo an Ofsted inspection before any decision about a change of status.

New Labour used bribery to turn schools into academies with up to 2 million promised from a business sponsor. The coalition government are now using compulsion.

The Con-Dems argue that academies are the only way to raise standards in under-performing schools. Yet recent research publicised by the Anti Academies Alliance shows that in London, on the measure of five GCSEs including English and maths, the best performing schools are NOT academies. Nationally, 20% of academies failed to improve on their GCSE results in 2010.

Haringey parents are right to call academies 'privatisation'. Already bigger academy 'chains' run more schools than some local authorities.

Oasis Community Learning, for example, runs 12 high schools all over England. Nine teachers were sacked at its Media City Academy in Salford at Christmas.

And ultimately, academies can pay staff whatever they like.

Despite business involvement, eight academies recently had to be 'bailed out' by the government for nearly 11 million.

An academy at Backwell near Bristol recently failed to enter 100 pupils for GCSE science exams. A parent commented: "I feel badly let down... now the school is an academy, who is it accountable to?"

Academy plans can be defeated. At St Leonards RC School in Durham staff voted 105 to 15 against academy status and the plan was dropped. Protesting parents stopped an academy project at Varndean School in Brighton. Teachers from Lancashire to Gloucestershire, from Coventry to London, have taken strike action against academy proposals. If the NUT and NASUWT teaching unions mobilise promptly, they can kill the plans before they get underway.

Demonstrate against academies!

Saturday 28 January, 12noon

Assemble at Keston Road N17

(Next to Downhills School)

March to Haringey Civic Centre

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In The Socialist 25 January 2012:

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Socialist Party editorial

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Add your name to the TUSC petition

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition election conference

Socialist Party news and analysis

Public sector pensions: 'Coalition of the willing' gathering strength

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Con-Demned to unemployment

Fight the Tories' Welfare Reform Bill

Victory against Dorries' abstinence education bill

Keep the racist EDL out of Leicester

Them & Us


Haringey parents say: No to academies!

NUS calls national student walkout

Socialist Party feature

Balfour Beatty re-ballot: Vote to strike again

Sweetheart stitch-ups in the electrical industry: A spark's history of the Joint Industry Board

Exposed - the dirty world of the construction blacklist

International socialist news and analysis

Egypt - A year of revolution and counter-revolution

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Stepping up the action to defend pensions at Unilever

Defend Len Hockey: Outrageous attack on Whipps Cross hospital workers

Pontefract hospital: Army withdrawn - now kick out PFI!

Save Vine services

Llanelli: Save Prince Philip's A&E

Stop the Salford day centre closures

Kirklees parents say 'save our children's centres!'

Greenwich Unite members oppose cuts, privatisation and racism

Workplace news in brief


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