Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/470/1974
THE FOLLOWING letter by Ian Page and Chris Flood, the two councillors on Lewisham council's Socialist Party group, was sent to the Education Guardian.
IT WAS good to see Fiona Millar's spirited debunking of some of the myths surrounding New Labour's academies programme (Don't forget about the rest of us, January 9), and the contrast with the lack of attention given to the excellent work that countless community schools do.
Here in Lewisham, the latest New Labour wheeze is to hand over a primary school to the local, selective secondary academy - which will only divide local parents and schools instead of bringing them together.
Unfortunately, Fiona's conclusion that "no one appears willing to challenge" the academies spin - 'the emperor's new clothes' as she rightly terms it - is only too true when it comes to councillors from the establishment parties.
Since last May Lewisham has been a 'hung council'. So, as Socialist Party councillors we were quietly confident when we presented a motion at the last council meeting calling for a thorough, cross-party council select committee public inquiry into the takeover plan.
After all, is there any evidence that secondary academies have had any success in primary education?
To their credit the Green group backed the Socialist Party's call. Despite much agonised hand-wringing, however, the Liberal Democrats and the Tories sided with New Labour. Is there nobody else who will point out that schools minister Andrew Adonis and his colleagues really are going around naked?
In The Socialist 18 January 2007:
War and terrorism
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news