Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Better schools for all - not academies

Press release from Kent Green Party:

Kent Green Party believes that the current enthusiasm for Academy schools is misplaced and will lead to more control over education by Government. Stuart Jeffery, Campaigns Officer of Kent Green Party, comments:

“The move towards academy schools in Kent and Medway will widen the educational gap between rich and poor. There is no intention to properly resource schools in areas with the greatest needs under this scheme. Under targeted policies, there would be far more assurance that lessons meet the needs of the children and society and assurance that children are not cherry picked to make schools look good.
Education is a basic right and one that must be protected, governed properly and accountable, not privatised and made unaccountable.

“The Government’s claim that academies are raising standards is not proven. Covert and overt admissions and exclusion practices enable academies to skew their intakes in favour of those from higher-achieving backgrounds. Local authorities can ‘direct’ maintained schools to accept special needs children but can only ‘ask’ academies. There is also increasing evidence of academies excluding more children than maintained schools.

“Furthermore, academies are not covered by general education law which means that their students and parents have fewer rights than those of schools in the maintained sector. The sponsoring body of any academy has the power to appoint the majority of governors. Academies have high staff turnover rates, and staff in academies can be prey to discriminatory employment practices. Teachers and support staff working in academies deserve the same protection as those working in the maintained sector. (3)
“While Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Education is slashing the rebuilding of hundreds of schools around the country he is promising extra money for any school that becomes an Academy. The divisive nature of this highlights our concerns about the tendency towards greater social segregation. We are also concerned that the government will use the October comprehensive spending review to put academies and 'free' schools at the top of the priority list.” Ends

FURTHER INFORMATION: Stuart Jeffery on 0797 0436 029 or 01622 808370. Contact address as above. Kent Green Party acknowledges the contribution of Martin Francis, Brent Green Party Spokesperson on Children, Families and Schools, to research for this release. Published by Kent Green Party and Promoted by H.Dawe, both at 27, Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF.

1. Research by Stephen Machin and James Bernoit of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics (reported in Evening Standard, 12th July 2010.
2. Further information available at:
3. Readers are advised to write to their MP: *EDM 135* Please ask your MP to add their name to this Early Day Motion. Currently 68 MPs have signed it. EDM 135 PROPOSED ACADEMIES LEGISLATION 02.06.2010 To write directly to your local MP on amending the Academies Bill to ensure proper consultation go to the 38 Degrees Site

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