Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/481/2271

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 April 2007

Lewisham

Privilege and privation in our schools

THE DIVIDE between schools is particularly obvious in a big city like London. With so many schools close to each other, there is growing competition to attract the 'best' pupils.

Where the local authority still has control over admissions, some degree of common planning is possible. Some policies operate on nearness to school or agreed catchment areas. Boroughs like Lewisham operate an "area banding" system where pupils are placed into one of five ability bands and each secondary school is then allocated 20% of its intake from each band.

The system ensures a number of genuinely comprehensive community schools still thrive in Lewisham. But it is under increasing pressure from schools that run their own admissions procedures, within and outside the borough.

Two Lewisham schools have started to ignore the banding arrangements, allowing them to skew their intake towards pupils in the higher ability bands. Most notoriously, the privileged Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham Academy has long used its independent control over admissions to attract able pupils from across Lewisham and beyond. In 2006, it admitted just 7% of its pupils from Lewisham's lowest band.

Far from being ostracised for undermining other local secondaries, Aske's was allowed to polarise local admissions even further when it was given control of a second academy, Knight's.

Aske's' empire-building hasn't stopped there. They are bidding to run another academy in Haringey, north London. Lewisham's New Labour council also plans to give their Hatcham academy control of a nearby primary to create a 3-18 school. House prices are reportedly already rising in surrounding streets as families look to secure a place for their youngsters.

But for every 'winner' there will also be losers. Two community schools have been thrown into real difficulties. Unable to attract many children from the highest ability bands, the schools instead fill with pupils with needs that are much harder to meet.

In contrast to Aske's one school admitted only 4% of last September's intake from the highest band, over 40% from the lowest. Many need individual support which the schools simply aren't resourced to provide.

NUT meetings in both schools have been held to seek to organise and defend staff worn down by the challenges of teaching in such difficult circumstances. Inevitably, some teachers are already leaving to go to less stressful schools. But this worsens the polarisation.

These problems will grow across the country unless Labour's market policies are challenged. All schools have to be brought under democratic local control so that a commonly agreed comprehensive admissions policy can be applied right across a locality. At the same time, schools have to be funded to provide the qualified staffing and resources to meet every child's needs.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 5 April 2007:

Children suffer in low pay Britain


Socialist Party editorial

Iran - Sailors fall victim to imperialist policies


Socialist Party news and analysis

Brown's pension robbery

Blair: No solutions to crime or crowded prisons

Waltham Forest protest - more memorable than Prince Charles!

Commemorating the abolition of the slave trade


Socialist Party reviews

One Life: Ricky Tomlinson

In The Line of Fire

Days of Glory


Education

Take national action to defend education

Labour's market policies damage education

Privilege and privation in our schools

NUS leadership abandon fees fight


PCS takes industrial action

London strikers close passport office

PCS members take industrial action

Anger on Newport picket line

Upbeat London rally


Campaign for a New Workers Party

How to stop the BNP: Build a political alternative

Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Ammanford home care workers march

Frustration at demo delay

We shall not be moved!


Asylum

Save Sadiq Abakar

Leicester protesters challenge Home Office


Workplace news and analysis

Trade union leaders heckled over inaction

Action needed as Ford bosses close Leamington plant

Celebs fail to save Burberry

Greenwich: "We've got to strike"

Burslem postal workers strike again


Northern Ireland

British government and local parties retreat on water charges

We Won't Pay Campaign


 

Home   |   The Socialist 5 April 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Schools:

triangleOpposition to new academy school being built on Leeds playing fields

triangleTeachers, students and parents demand an end to the schools funding crisis

triangleSchools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleOne in four teenage girls depressed - crisis made worse by cuts

Lewisham:

triangleSchools and teaching: A perfect storm of cuts, underfunding, excessive workloads and low pay

triangleLewisham 1977: When socialists and workers defeated the far-right National Front

triangle'Ana Key MP' - Socialist artist responds to attacks

triangleLabour MP attacks local student over anti-austerity art project

School:

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

triangleNewham anti-academies strikes

triangleSchool staff strike against privatisation

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

14/12/17

Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

13/12/17

London

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

12/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2