The Socialist 24 October 2012
Defend the NHS
Axe the Con-Dems' ban on building new LEA schools
Jane Nellist, Coventry NUT member
Two new primary schools planned for Coventry have been shelved because, under the Con-Dems' 2011 education act, all new schools have to be 'academies' or 'free schools' (unless no sponsors take up the offer).
Funding for these schools had apparently been secured from a major house-building project.
Coventry, as in other major cities, is experiencing a surge in the numbers of young children. But school places are currently not as stretched in the west - where these schools would have been built - as in the east of the city, where there are more working class homes.
A consultation process is underway to rapidly expand already existing schools.
Parents have had to go through an appeal process to try and get their children into schools close by their homes and not have to travel lengthy distances. There is no support for these families with travel costs.
The Con-Dems' drive to further the privatisation of schools is creating an absolute nightmare for school planning.
Democratically elected local councils will be unable to plan school places across cities when they are unable to control the number of free schools and academies who can set their own admissions.
We have to oppose all privatisation and need councillors that stand for a democratically planned, well-funded education system that meets the needs of our children.
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