Since I last wrote about the way our schools are being forced to accept academisation, I have received a lot of information from a great many schools and it is now very clear indeed that our schools are being steadily forced to accept being handed over to academies.
For a start, just take a look at all the schools that have been handed over to one particular academy trust. It is called the ‘Flying High Trust’ (what grandiose titles they do give themselves) and has already taken over 18 schools, here they all are:
- Candleby Lane School, Cotgrave
- Hillside Primary and Nursery School, Hucknall
- Peafield Lane Primary, Litten Road, Mansfield, Woodhouse
- Earnhale Junior
- Beeston Fields Primary and Nursery
- Edwalten Primary
- Bilsthorpe Academy
- Greythorn Primary, West Bridford
- Greenwood Primary and Nursery, Kirkby in Ashfield
- Killisick Junior
- Horsendale Primary
- Haddon Primary and Nursery
- Leammington Primary Academy
- Porchester Junior
- Mapplewells Primary and Nursery
- Stanstead Primary
- Pinxton Village Infant Schools
- Kirkstead Junior
These are all in one area of the country and there might well be several of them who were forced in to academisation against their will, or having been forced, now wish they could return to their local government authority.
But, this is very big business we’re talking here. The CEOs of the grandiose Academy Trusts and the men and women in Ofsted that they employ to put the pressure on the schools they fancy, are making a great deal of money out of their new found powers. Last year there were 8 people in Ofsted who got paid over £135,000 a year and the Woolwich Polytechnic School for Boys pays a full time head £165,000 a year and a part-time co/head £105,000 a year. The CEOs of these huge and obscenely wealthy companies, pay themselves exorbitant salaries. And it isn’t as if they are taking good care of the children for whom they are now responsible. Quite the reverse in fact. Great Yarmouth Charter Academy removed 81 undesirable pupils from their role, so that their poor results couldn’t bring down the average grades. I wonder what their parents have to say about that. Maybe they wish they could get the academy order revoked.
The parents at Springfield Academy Primary School are already struggling to do just that but they need as much help as they can get to discover the best way to do it and are talking about forming a parents union.
The parents of Fernwood Primary School, which has had excellent Ofsted reports for five years, but is now deemed to require improvement, have been told they’re going to be part of the ‘Flying High Trust’ – the same Flying High Trust that has already gobbled up the 18 schools I listed above. Like so many other parents in this situation, they don’t know where to turn for help either and are also thinking that a parents union could give them the power and support that they need.
Other parents in other places are moving towards a similar idea. But would a parents union be possible? Waltham Holy Cross are showing us how it could be done and I have been making inquiries on your behalf.
I have contacted the Trades Union Congress at Congress House, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LS. And a young lady called Jenny Rockcliff has given me some very helpful advice to pass on to my parent friends. The part of the organisation that would be able to help them most easily is the Community section of ‘Unite’ which has been formed for people who being unemployed or parents of small families and therefore need a different kind of union. All those who are out there wondering what to do next, might find that a good start could be made by phoning Unite on 0333 240 9798. Jenny was well aware that parents and teachers are being pushed around so that their valuable land and all the possibilities for making money that the land and the school represent, can be passed over to the grandiose trusts.
But whatever you do, keep in touch, and I will pass on your news to everybody else and help you in any way I can. It is an absolute scandal that you and your children are being treated in the way you are being treated to satisfy these rich mens’ greed.