Against forced academies and the privatisation of our education system by stealth
Our government is forcing schools to become academies against the majority consensus. They are ignoring parents, schools and local authorities. They are using bullying tactics to hand schools to academy chains, run by major Tory donors. They are not only forcing failing schools but good ones and allowing these chains to cherry pick good schools to give academy policy credibility. Parents all over the UK are starting to organise themselves. 'Parents Against Forced Academies' are calling for a public enquiry into the bullying and likely corruption endemic to forced academy process. Decisions about handing over our public schools to academy chains are being made behind closed doors without proper consultation or transparency.
Please join us in our fight for our Education system and our democracy.
The underlying anti-democratic nature of the Department of Education's handling of these matters points unequivocally to a hidden agenda of privatisation. This is fuelled by political self-interest, by party donations, lobbying and future job offers beyond parliament.
Privatisation will only serve the elite and the sooner it is challenged the better. And the rhetoric that Academies will solve all problems is based on very weak foundations. They are increasingly selective of pupil intake, channel funds to executive figures away from teachers, operate dangerously strict pupil codes of conduct and have increasingly fast teacher turnaround. As parents, this is not what we want for our children or our country.
This issue has largely fallen under the media radar and public awareness. It deserves to be front page news and brought to public attention. Education is our future.
We strongly believe that this issue mirrors the NHS privatisation which has fuelled much public outrage. The public deserves to know what is happening to Education too.
This is a serious request at a serious time, and we urge you to support us.
Parents Against Forced Academies
Martin Walsh commented
Join the campaign!
Martin Seers commented
The truth about the government on the 25th December 2012 a UCC ruling foreclosed all corporations around the world and the UK government is a corporations and no longer have any power over you.
Please look up oppt-in One Peoples Public Trust Ready to be free.
The most important NEWS EVER
I am writing because I am very concerned what Mr. Gove is doing to the education system in this country. I think it is time that we parents show that we support teachers in their mistrust in Mr.Gove's ability to create the best schools for our children.I am not worried that teachers begin to think about a strike.
I think it is also time that people who benefited from the school system before Mr.Gove started to mess it up need to speak out for a non profit oriented approach in education.
Can the 38degree team get involved?I would like to get involved.
Thanks for your great work!! .
All the best
Would someone please direct me to where the advantages of making all or indeed any school an academy are outlined please.
The comments about creating acedemies are all very negative and I would simply like to see the opposite side of the coin before I decide whether or not I should care either way; and if so which side of that debate I would like to offer my support.
In my view privatisation of somethings is not necessarily wrong and governments usually are wrong, albeit for the right reasons and are just misguided on some occasions.
If you want to start a discussion or appeal for support surely you should provide both the pros and cons if you want people to take you seriously.
I have always been of the opinion that the British public in general should start thinking that the so called "democracy" is a fallacy. The fact that you can see that your democratic system "works" in general is not due to the very much widespread idea that in this country -and in all the other "civilized" countries, for that matter- you are more “advanced”. I really don’t know what that means. This system “works” because it largely responds to the huge amount of resources which exist in your economy. There is plenty for all to share. Therefore, very rarely will you find yourselves in a situation in which the different stakeholders within the society are at risk of destabilisation. It is only when a group or groups of people within the society need to expand and the opportunity for achieving it appears that will you see this pantomime called “democracy” inevitably exposes itself naked. In countries with less resources and therefore more fragile legal structure this phenomena is visible almost at all times. All this is an extremely generalised argument. But I don’t see how you are going to change this system without twisting the “rules”. Naturally, it would be foolish to ignore certain room that the system, by its very nature, offers to challenge it. Certainly there are platforms where you can and successfully change certain states of affairs. But, these means are limited and often reverberate around the status quo. People can say and will say whatever they want. But the Poll Tax is a magnificent example of how sometimes things can be changed. Because in the end, who’s rules are anyway? Yes, they are the result of a general consensus which starts from the very moment people places their confidence in the ballot box in a candidate they elect. So, the system as a whole is the environment we all have chosen. Yes, I see. Well, that is up to you to believe in this face of the game or try to discover the real nature of the entire process which is to be seek in history itself.
Jonny Morrison commented
Trish Toogood commented
Please start a campaign..the free school / academy process will strip our state system bare
D Shepherd commented
Don't do this! Last thing we need.
This is just privatisation by the back door, take one of the largest Trusts ARK for example, who are being given school after school by the Secretary of State (can't even bear to say his name) and then go and see how much the top honcho of ARK donates to the Tory party.
Honestly you can't make this up, there are currently 37 Private Equity Firms circling our schools and forgive me for being cynical but I can't for one moment believe it's because they want to raise the standard of education in them, what then i ask? oh yes the assets!!!!
Education of our future generations should not be run for profit especially out of the public purse, what when the public funds are cut, pay for your children's education?????
How long before we are driving past schools with "FOR SALE" Boards outside them, please please can the media start taking this issue as serious as that of the privatisation of the NHS.
Peter Thomson commented
Anonymous (below) appears to speak for only one part of the Conservative party.
S/he would have us believe that all the beautiful places full of hard working capable teachers were to be found outside of the local authority. My experience is quite different.
50 years ago the sixth form of a north of England fee-paying school (Sedbergh) invited outside speakers. Pompous young journalist Rees-Mogg did not impress but the next month Leistershire local authority Director of Education Stuart Mason made a big impact. He spoke with pride about the Leicestershire school experiment. He spoke of schools as lifelong centres for community learning and about the Leicestershire local authority music, art and drama.
Following this introduction I went on to spend most of my working life as a teacher in Birmingham, London, Kent and Leicestershire. Unlike Anonymous I found teachers at state schools had the same level of commitment as those in the fee-paying system. Our children attended the excellent local Leicestershire comprehensive school where their exam results were far more impressive than my own.
Anonymous implies that only a socialist woud disagree with his/her views on education. It is quite possible that the teachers Anonymous despised voted Conservative. During my time as a state school teacher following every general election I was told (by the Times Educational Supplement) that most teachers had voted Conservative. And it was of course the controlling Leicestershire Conservative Councillors and one nation Tory MP Sir John Farr who were really proud of their comprehensive community education system pioneered in Leicestershire.
And 30 years ago during the Leicestershire campaign against Grant Maintained status it was a senior Conservative who led the way. More recently the last Anti-Academy meeting I attended in Leicester had a senior Conservative on the platform
Members of all the main political parties (and none) can help stop the forced school conversion to Academies.
Reading below you would think our local authority schools were excellent, well as someone unfortunate to be educated in a local authority school, I can say it was clearly run for the benefit of the teachers and the local council officials, and that I know something has to be done.
Before the socialists write in to say my school was just a bad example and that all other local authority schools are beautiful places full of hard working capable teachers and eager to learn pupils, we should think where the UK's army unemployable young people came from, while young people educated in schools more closely aligned to those that Mr Gove desires come from around the world to the UK to do the jobs they cannot do.
We can look to the example of Sweden, who have shown that you can raise education standards through privatisation at a sustainable level of expenditure rather than defend the failure of local authority education.
Felicity Banister commented
Mr Gove is a power broker using his Department to position himself as a darling of the right to enable him to mount a leadership challenge. The victims are children, parents and teachers who are given no say in how their children are educated.
It is a scandle that schools are left in a dilapidated state whilst he pursues his hateful polucies of free schools and academies.
We are already ruing the day this lot grabbed power with the LibDems in cahoots.
Carmel Waldron commented
Almost every day Facebook has another example of the bullying and corruption involved in forcing good schools to become academies which are then handed over to a friend of the Tories on a plate. And we have the nerve to point the finger at other corrupt societies! Why isn't there a media outcry - or are they too busy convincing the PM to abandon the Leveson report?
Janet Downs commented
The Academy programme was always built on false claims that sponsored academies did better than non-academies. But this is not true. Research done by Henry Stewart for the Local Schools Network and confirmed by university academics shows that sponsored academies did no better, indeed slightly worse, than similar non-academies. The Academies Commission have also recognised this. It said that sponsored academies, with a few stellar exceptions like Mossbourne, did no better than similar non-academy schools. The Academies Commission also found that most non-academies can do what academies can do; that some academies were manipulating their admissions in their favour; that some submissions of evidence were concerned about fragmentation of the English education system with many academies working in their own interest; that while many academies supported social inclusion some did not, and that governors and converter academies were often unprepared for the extra legal and administrative burden of being an academy.
The BBC found last years that many primaries were being bullied into converting. And the scandal of the enforced academisation of Downhills school and the possible enforced conversion of Roke primary in Croydon show the lengths that this Government is going to in order to force through its policies on a generally reluctant primary sector.
By removing schools from Local Authority control the Secretary of State is centralising control of education in his own hands, removing local decision making from parents and communities.
Peter Thomson commented
30 years ago I was a founder member of Parents Opposed to Opting Out.
10 or 12 years later 98% of all School governing bodies were voting yearly against Grant Maintained Status.
Parents at the Leicestershire School where I was a governor voted three times against Grant Maintained status and were able to prevent opting out. Sadly that school became one of the first Coalition Academies
POO played a small but important part in that national campaign.
I really like the idea of Parents Against Forced Academies.
Esther Bolton commented
I fully support this campaign. Education should not be privatised. The very idea that schools could become 'for profit' is repulsive.
Robert Goodwin commented
This campaign needs to highlight the issue of democracy. For all their faults, Local Authorities are elected by the people. The privatisation of schools is part of the hollowing out of democracy in this country. Everybody academy that opens is a blow against hard won freedoms and people who go along with them need to be challenged on this. The choice is simple: for or against democracy. Campaigns need clear simple messages that are constantly re-iterated. This should be one of them.
I support the call for an enquiry.
Mike Booth commented
Another example of the old robber baron Tories selling off the family silver. Schools belong to their communities. Many were created from endowments and funds raised by ratepayers. Scandalous practices abound under this coalition. This is another example.