Friday, February 08, 2008

Woodard Corporation snubs parents and teachers

From the WSTA blog

Teachers and Parents oppose academies.
150 parents and teachers concerned about the threat to turn Littlehampton, Boundstone and King’s Manor into academies attended a meeting organised by the WSTA on Thursday 7th February..

The local authority's spokesman Robert Back was listened to in polite silence. He argued that although Academies had been corrupt and inefficient in the past they would be very different now. He also argued that the academy was “the only game in town.” The private sponsors Woodard Corporation refused to send anyone to speak to us.

Alistair Smith and Hank Roberts spoke on behalf of the NUT and got a very positive reception.

Alistair pointed out the dangers of Academies where historically the Local Authority has lost all say in the running of the school with the LA having one governor and the sponsors having the lion’s share.

He also stressed the social divisiveness of Academies. “Academies,” according to Lord Adonis, “are the 21st Century’s Grammar Schools.”

Hank Roberts pointed out that sponsors generously donating two million pounds can get upwards of 18 million pounds of public money for their trouble and frequently excessive profits are made through “consultancy fees” and the provision of equipment for the school. They are not sponsors but spongers.

Private businesses are colonising the state-funded education system.

Everyone who spoke from the floor was opposed to privatisation and not taken in by any of the promises. nor did they accept the arrogant assertion "there is no alternative". That is not a spirit in which to conduct a consultation. It is undemocratic...and anyway it is something Margaret Thatcher used to say a lot.

There was also discussion about the spread of religious schools without any popular demand. Hank warned of the proliferation of separate schools for children whose parents have different religious views and the potential divisiveness this will bring about.



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