Lewisham has largely resisted the spread of academies and free schools that has divided education in many other boroughs – until now.
In the last few months, plans for two new ‘free schools’ have been announced in the local press. Governors at Bonus Pastor school are definitely discussing becoming an academy. But that could be just the start. The NUT understands that Governors of several other secondary schools are being asked to discuss plans to become academies too.
The National Union of Teachers is not going to stand back and see Lewisham education torn apart. They are calling a public meeting to bring together parents, staff and students to discuss why we must oppose these plans – and what we can do to defend education in Lewisham:
WEDNESDAY 12 NOVEMBER, 7pm – 9pm in ‘The Barn’ at THE GREEN MAN, 355 Bromley Road, London SE6 2RP
Speakers from Lewisham NUT, the ‘Anti-Academies Alliance’ and the ‘Hands Off Hove Park’ Campaign who have just stopped their school becoming an Academy
When they were first introduced, some parents may have believed the politicians who claimed that academies were the answer. Now, experience confirms that breaking-up Local Authority schooling does not improve education. Instead, it creates a fragmented system where schools are run by unaccountable businesses and individuals, making things even harder for parents, students and staff.
The NUT thinks that the expansion of academies and free schools is part of a wider political agenda to privatise our public services – just like the Health Service. Lewisham residents have successfully rallied to defend our NHS. Now we are going to have to organise to defend education in Lewisham too.
Government cuts mean that Councils are getting rid of many of their services. That could include schools. Growing pupil numbers mean that there is an urgent need to open new schools. But, to force through its privatising plans, this Government says that new schools have to be academies or free schools, run independently of the Local Authority.
The NUT says that Councils should be given the power to open new community schools. They also need the funds and support to make sure that every child has a high quality education in a good local school/