Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 21 January 2009

Students fight academy status

Excerpt from a letter sent to The Socialist

Weston Favell School Student Council

Weston Favell School (WFS) in Northampton is threatened with academy status starting from September 2009, with the United Learning Trust (ULT) as sponsor. We, the student council, have our concerns about academy status. Having gathered information from many sources, including government websites, the anti-academy website and the ULT website, we impartially delivered assemblies to the rest of the students and then polled them. The result was an overwhelming 88% against academy status.

WFS, along with other secondary schools in Northampton, has endured disruption over the last few years because of the change from the three-tier to the two-tier education system. WFS suffered more disruption than most of the other schools because we have been on a split site for four years with teachers having to travel back and forth. Only this academic year have we all been on one site and fully staffed.

The current head teacher, Dr Jones, has been here for two years and within that time she, the staff and the governors, have managed to turn the school round to the point of it being virtually unrecognisable. I have attended WFS since the change from the three-tier system. Poor behaviour was rife and the facilities were in desperate need of updating. Now the staff has gained respect and control, and the behaviour in classes has improved dramatically. We have a brand new school with modern and purpose-built facilities. We are heading in the right direction but academy status will result in plunging the school back into chaos.

Despite the fact that we got marked 'satisfactory', with 'good' features from Ofsted, we have become a 'national challenge' school. [National challenge schools face possible closure if they do not improve.] This does not take into account that over 40% of students are deemed to have special educational needs and that WFS has the highest level of social deprivation in the whole of Northamptonshire. Exam results look set to improve in the next two years, as a result of the hard work by staff and pupils. Some of us have come to the conclusion that central government want to turn us in to an academy to fulfil their political agenda; to 'prove' that academies work.

ULT was given the 'employers' badge of shame' by the public sector union Unison. A staff ballot suggests that there is a real possibility of many staff leaving which would upset our education when what we need to meet the national challenge is continuity.

WFS is now the only mixed gender and non-denominational secondary school on the east side of Northampton. As a ULT academy we would have a Church of England ethos, seriously limiting parental preference.

I oppose WFS being made into an academy because, as well as the above reasons, I think academies are a step towards parents having to directly pay for their children's education. This would result in poorer families having to send their children to the worst schools. I think this because academies are basically private schools where the state pays the fees. How long will it be until they stop paying? I think a stand needs to be made now.

I think that the readers of The Socialist and the members of your party will be able to see our point and we need as much advice and help as we can to stop this. Please see our e-petition at .

Joe Archer, Chair of Weston Favell School student council

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

In The Socialist 21 January 2009:

No more bailouts for bosses!

Fast news: My Lords, Ladies and cash dispenser

War and occupation

Gaza war paves way for further conflict

Protesting against Gaza attacks

Egypt: Gaza conflict fuels anti-Mubarak opposition

Readers' comment: media reporting on Gaza

Socialist Party campaigns

Hands off Royal Mail

Wirral anti-cuts campaign

Save jobs - nationalise JCB

Fighting the cuts in Greenwich

Shop workers need a fighting trade union leadership

Campaigning in Exeter

Hoover workers march in protest at job losses

Amicus election

Glasgow Unison

Socialist Party feature

Obama takes power: What change will the Democrats bring?

International socialist news and analysis

Refugees and repression in war ravaged Sri Lanka

Exiled Zimbabweans demand Brown acts

Capitalism kills, concludes study of privatisation era

Lawyer assassinated

Environment and socialism

Opposing the expansion of Heathrow

Waltham Forest anti-incinerator campaign: Residents get results

Campaigners fight attacks on education and the environment

Socialist Students

Students fight academy status

Socialist Party review

What's going on? The meanderings of a comic mind in confusion, by Mark Steel


Home   |   The Socialist 21 January 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleStriking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

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

triangleCardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

triangleLeeds Socialist Students marks 'International Safe Abortion Day'


triangleNasty party out the Tories

triangleYoung Socialists launched in Greater Manchester

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

triangleSchool spend is behind eastern Europe


triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleSalford Unison condemns pay cuts


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

triangleGlasgow jannies win famous victory against council cutters


triangleCorbyn pledges council powers to take over academies

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



Balloting members on the pay cap



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



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



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

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

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

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



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice