Saturday 25 October 2014

Public Meeting - Is Lewisham Education about to be torn apart?
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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. We are calling this 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.
In a few months time, there will be a General Election. The NUT has launched a manifesto for education calling on the next Government - whoever it might be - to think again on plans to rely on academies and free schools.

Now is certainly not the time to be turning more of our schools into academies - now is the time to be stepping up our campaign to stop privatisation and to make sure that parents, teachers and communities are working together to best support our youngsters. Together, we can make a difference. The campaign at Hove Park in Brighton has just stopped plans to turn their school into an academy.

* Share this information through your networks and/or to your family and friends
* Come to the meeting and discuss how we can defend education in Lewisham
* Get in touch if you would like to know more about the campaign and why we are so opposed to academisation of Lewisham schools

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