Defend Education in Lewisham: Public Meeting 12th November

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/

General Meeting and Christmas Social

Our General Meeting will take place on Monday 17th December at 1pm in RHB 309. Our guest speaker will be Michael MacNeil, UCU’s National Head of Higher Education, who will be speaking particularly on the challenges faced by those in Education Departments, and how we can meet those challenges.

UCU dec2012 GM poster

Please save the date as it is important that as many members as possible attend so that we can move forward on the very important issues discussed in the last meeting, including the treatment of international students.

Defending the Right to Education: Where Next for Goldsmiths?


Tuesday 6th Mar., 5:30pm, Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre

An open discussion about the future of Goldsmiths in light of the changes to higher education, how we can organize resistance to cuts and closures on campus, and how to build for the NUS walkout on the 14th March. This meeting has been called jointly by the Students Union, UCU lecturers union and Goldsmiths Education Activist Network.

Des Freedman – Goldsmiths UCU secretary
Samson Oson – Goldsmiths SU Campaigns officer (& President elect)
Jaz Blackwell-Pal – Goldsmiths education activist

With the warnings we’ve had from London Met., t’s more important than ever that Goldsmiths staff and students come together to discuss how to go forward.

NUS president Liam Burns has also called a national week of action starting on the 12th March. This will include a walkout on Wednesday 14th but also events through the week. The aim is to build understanding of and resistance to the government’s plans for higher education.

After the discussion we will break off into departmental working groups to co-ordinate with others in our department, both to build for the week and to address issues facing each part of Goldsmiths.

All welcome.

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