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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 November 2017

Opposition to new academy school being built on Leeds playing fields

Playing fields are a vital community resource

Playing fields are a vital community resource   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

Consultation will shortly be ending on the proposals by Leeds council to build a new academy on the Fearnville (King George VI) playing fields.

This would represent a vital loss of recreational space to the community, as well as increasing traffic in an area with already poor air quality and vulnerable to flooding. At present the fields are held in a trust which would require the council to get a change in their use, so the current consultation focuses on this issue.

With the recent collapse of Wakefield City Academy Trust, many local parents and residents are apprehensive about a new academy being built in an area with five academy secondary schools that are already underperforming. Essentially the proposals mean that the council will fund building the school, then hand this over to an academy chain we have no real local community control over.

The council's consultation document points out there will be a secondary school places shortage in the area in the near future and that the Department for Education's current guidelines for building a new school require it to be a free school or academy.

But that doesn't mean the council should just accept the diktats of the Tory government which endanger our children's future education. The council should instead be challenging this, mobilising the community, teachers and trade union movement locally.

At community events some local residents have also put together a petition against this and set up a Facebook group. Local Socialist Party members will be adding their weight to the campaign and arguing for a real solution to the school places crisis which doesn't worsen our environment.

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In The Socialist 8 November 2017:


What we think

'Paradise' for billionaires - austerity for us


Socialist Party news and analysis

Westminster sexual harassment scandal

Walk out against tuition fees!

Bosses say 217 years to close pay gap - workers' struggle can close it now!

We can win the vote at 16!

Child poverty set to hit 5.2m - unions and Corbyn must act now

PFI privateers dodge tax

What we saw


Workplace news and analysis

Pay cap decisively rejected by PCS union members

BA mixed-fleet workers show strikes get results

Unite union sector conferences: coordinate action over pay

Picturehouse strike: "evil corporations are evil"

Arriva bus strike still solid


International socialist news and analysis

US: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters

Ireland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'

Ireland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class

Spain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution

Sweden: 'Revolution2017' success


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Health campaign discusses strategy to save NHS

Chatsworth neuro-rehab ward still open - unions join the campaign

Housing campaigners ask Corbyn to instruct Labour council regeneration ballots

Thousands march in London for Palestine

Opposition to new academy school being built on Leeds playing fields

Orgreave campaigners' Halloween 'Death of Justice' march

Sheffield trees campaigner sentenced to prison

Brum meeting celebrates centenary of 1917


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Obituary: Derek Robinson, car workers' leader, 1927-2017

Welsh update of Chekhov an engrossing tale of 1980s class conflict

Obituary: Paul Randall, 1959-2017

The Socialist inbox


 

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