Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Save Snaresbrook Primary from Forced Academisation

Snaresbrook Primary is in danger of being forced to become an academy against the wishes of the majority parents and carers at the school. This is because at the last OFSTED report showed it had gone from 'Good' to 'Special Measures' and the Department of Education have decided that means they must become an Academy - almost come what may it seems. This is against the guidance from OFSTED itself which suggests that schools should be given 12 months to improve after being placed in 'Special Measures'.

Following an informal survey of Snaresbrook parents and carers at the school gates, the school voted overwhelmingly against academisation.  The volume of responses received represents around 70% of the parent/carer population, and of those who gave an opinion, 89% were against academisation. A group of determined parents have set up a campaign group and have been very busy showing the Department for Education the depth of feeling against forcing the school to become an academy.

The parents behind the highly active campaign to keep this much loved school under the care of the Local Authority are bewildered by the recent letter sent from Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, to the Right Honourable Iain Duncan Smith MP.  In this letter, the work that is being done to bring about improvement is acknowledged.  Yet, the letter states, “Our clear expectation … is that conversion to an academy with a strong sponsor is the best route to secure long-term improvement”.

Parents and local community members are disappointed with the disregard of the DfE for the excellent and rapid improvements being made by the school’s leadership, Governing body and Local Authority.  The HMI report published to parents last week describes a comprehensive programme of measures to build upon and accelerate change.  It describes the extension of the senior team, increased clarity over roles, changes that are ‘productive’ and ‘fast’, challenging achievement targets, increased monitoring, and increased Local Authority support.  It cites ‘tangible evidence about the improved ethos and physical environment’. Parents are delighted that the Local Authority statement of action and school’s improvement plan are ‘fit for purpose’.

The next stage in their campaign will see parents and children from Snaresbrook Primary School taking their campaign to the heart of Government in two separate events next week. So far nearly 2000 people have signed but it's not too late for you to sign - just click here. If you want to download a paper copy of the petition then email Matt Goddin for details or if you are on facebook click here to contact the campaign.

On Tuesday 29 October a small group of parents and children will be delivering a copy of their 2000-strong petition against forced academisation to No 10 Downing Street. They will be accompanied by the school’s constituency MP John Cryer (Leyton and Wanstead) and neighbouring MP Lee Scott (Ilford North) in whose constituency many Snaresbrook parents live.

Later in the week, on Friday 1 November, a much larger rally will take place outside the Department for Education, where a copy of the same petition will be delivered.

If you can help with this campaign please let us know and we will put you in touch with the campaign. Whatever your views on Academies and Free Schools a School like Snaresbrook should not be forced down this route against their wishes.

10 comments:

  1. Your key argument is that academisation would actually reverse the progress that has been instigated and is bearing fruit. DfE have no logical counter to that - so they will just trot out the same lie that academies are the best option.

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  2. academy status is the worst thing that could happen to a school, everyone thinks that if a primary\secondary school changes to academy status, its a good thing and raises the reputation of the school, THEY ARE VERY WRONG!!!!!!

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  3. It does not bode well when the Education Secretary, THE EDUCATION SECRETARY, (as Kinnochio would have said) wants all schools to be “above average”!

    Clearly a private education does not guarantee even a basic grasp of numeracy.

    http://www.leftfootforward.org/2013/10/michael-gove-doesnt-understand-averages/

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  4. I went to this school it used to be great I think it should not change into an academy it would be sad

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  5. Weirdly enough, in yesterday's Ilford Recorder, there is an article about a private primary school in Ilford which wants to change his status from private school to Council-controlled school and this wish seems to be extremely well received by the Cabinet Member for Schools.
    Most puzzling!

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    1. The Ilford Al Noor Primary School will not become council controlled. Like many voluntary aided faith schools it will simply receive its funding from the council . Although I have certain personal reservations about faith schools in this case I welcome what can be seen as a significant symbolic step towards integration rather than continued isolation.

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  6. The hard line being taken over Snaresbrook by Lord Nash should be seen in the context of Lord Nash's background.

    Born on 22 March 1949, John Alfred Stoddart Nash read law at Oxford and qualified as a barrister. He later worked for many years in the financial world.

    John Nash and his wife donated almost £300,000 to the Conservative Party, and 0n 21 January 2012 was created Baron Nash of Ewelme in the County of Oxfordshire. In January 2013 it was announced that he was to be appointed as Junior Schools' Minister.

    In 2006 John Nash had established "Future", a registered charity that promotes academies. By any standards this has every appearance of a conflict of interest and makes it wholly inappropriate that Lord Nash should be Schools Minister. One wonders whether David Cameron might have appointed Count Dracula as Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service.

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  7. "A former Tory education secretary says David Cameron is not very interested in education and Michael Gove is basing coalition policies on his own "irrelevant" experience as a student from a poor background who rose to the top."

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/24/kenneth-baker-attacks-michael-gove

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  8. According to Cllr Canal: "Dfe confirn Snaresbrook Primary School will not become an academy. Lee Scott MP intervention crucial. Well done"

    https://twitter.com/RedbridgeBlue/status/395152856934023168

    I don't suppose that the @savesnaresbook parents and staff had anything to do with it?

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    1. Congratulation to all who were active in opposing this form of legalised government theft.

      The decision in no way detracts from my view that it is wholly inappropriate for Lord Nash to be Schools' Minister.

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