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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 March 2007

Lincolnshire

Keep the market out of education!

LINCOLNSHIRE COUNTY council proposes to spend up to 50 million transforming three local schools into 'city academies'. Lincolnshire National Union of Teachers (NUT) recently held a public meeting in Lincoln to discuss these proposals.

Marc Glasscoe Socialist Party Lincolnshire

City academies are yet another way in which Blair and his neo-liberal cronies try to force privatisation on us. Academies involve offering a 'partner' from the private sector the opportunity to use public money to build a new school provided they contribute up to 2 million to costs.

In Lincoln's case this could be as little as 4% of the proposed academies' final cost. In return for this relatively paltry contribution the 'sponsor' gets full control of the school, from setting the curriculum to controlling the budget and even staff pay and conditions.

This is alleged to help improve failing schools. Bizarrely, one school earmarked for academy treatment in Lincoln was recently rated one of the country's fastest improving schools!

All these millions are only available, however, if you are prepared to hand over the school. No privatisation, no money! Campaigners against council house privatisation will be aware of this blackmail tactic.

Socialist Party members pointed out the similarities between this, the housing situation and the constant cuts in the NHS. This is what happens when the market enters our public services. Schools in the area are left to fight over who gets the best share of an inadequate pool of public funding while the private vultures pick off the juiciest bits.

Some people asked, can we turn down the possibility of millions of pounds of investment? Lincolnshire NUT President-elect Alan Watkins-Grove said that there is nothing he would like more than massively increased investment for Lincolnshire education. However, the privatisation of local schools was not a price worth paying.

The meeting discussed where the NUT should go from here. Suggestions were made for lobbying MPs and local councillors.

Socialist Party member Scott Lumsden pointed out the futility of lobbying a Blairite MP or Tory councillors who support proposals for academies. He called for a focussed campaign, involving trade unions, parents and teachers to oppose academies and fight for proper government funding for education.

The NUT now feel they have a mandate to build a campaign against city academies in Lincoln. This is yet another front in the battle against privatisation and the sell-off of our public services!

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In The Socialist 22 March 2007:

Labour's NHS plans: not what the doctors ordered!

Divisive forgery shocks health campaign


War and terrorism

End Iraq hell

Blair (and Tories) get their Trident vote

Will Bush bomb Iran?


Socialist Party campaigns

Public anger sees off BNP

May Day greetings - support the socialist

Keep the market out of education!


International Socialist Resistance

Young people get organised


Socialist Party news and analysis

Passenger protests force some improvements

Budget: Who are the real scroungers?

Water charges to be delayed?

Socialist Party women's day school a success


What we think

Private equity deals - fight free-market vultures


Marxist analysis: history

How was the slave trade abolished?


International socialist news and analysis

Rifondazione Comunista - its future?

A tale of two tours

"Bush out of Iraq and Lula out of Haiti"

Greece: The struggle to defend free education


Workplace news and analysis

Burslem postal workers continue the fight

Defend UNISON health activist

Greenwich single status scandal

TUC try to cut conference childcare provision

Amicus and TGWU to merge

Fight university job cuts

Lobby for migrant workers' rights


 

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