Teachers and parents are set to stage a protest at plans to effectively make a primary school into an academy without going through the normal process.
Trade unions and fuming families are holding a meeting at Moonshot Community Centre, Angus Street, New Cross, tomorrow – Wednesday March 7 – from 3.45pm, to give pupils’ parents more details of what it will mean for their children.
GMB Southern is campaigning once again to stop academisation in Lewisham borough – and this time the threat comes from a move by the management of Childeric Primary in Deptford.
The anti academies campaign at Childeric which was set up by the GMB and NEU trade unions (which represent support staff and teaching staff respectively) to update parents and carers about the impact of academisation on the school and the wider community.
Barbara Plant, GMB Lewisham education convenor said: “We are hosting this meeting to ensure that parents and carers are in receipt of all the facts when it comes to academy schools. We are concerned that the head has already made an application for an academy order and are worried that the school’s consultation with parents will not give an accurate picture of the realities of academisation.
“For example, schools that are academies take less children with special educational needs and from poorer backgrounds – this would be particularly devastating for the community which Childeric currently serves.
“Once a school becomes an academy it cannot go back to local authority control and can be taken over by other academies. This creates uncertainty and makes academy schools less democratically accountable to their communities.”
Duncan Morrison, Branch official for Lewisham NEU said: “Lewisham schools are amongst the best performing schools in the country, Childeric is a particularly good school – there is no good reason to go down this route.
“It will lead to insecurity amongst staff and divert time and resources away from the day to day business of running the school and into the cumbersome process of converting to an academy.
“We want our school’s leaders focusing on delivering a quality education to our kids not tied up in unnecessary bureaucracy.
“Not only does academisation decrease democratic accountability but academies have a track record of paying more to senior leaders and consultants and less to teachers and support staff, we need to know that our kids are being taught by staff that feel valued and looked after.”