Monday 6 October 2014

Defend Education in Lewisham - NUT to host Public Meeting

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Lewisham NUT have called a Public Meeting on Wednesday 12 November, 7 pm - 9 pm in ‘The Barn’ at the Green Man, 355 Bromley Road, London SE6 2RP. Here's why:

Lewisham has largely resisted the spread of academies and free schools that has divided education in some boroughs - until now. 

In the last few months, governors at Bonus Pastor school have started to consult over converting to an academy. Plans for two new ‘free schools’ have been announced in the local press. The NUT understands that other schools might be under threat of take-over  from Government-backed academy sponsors. 

Some parents may once have believed that academies were the way forward. But the facts now confirm that breaking-up Local Authority schooling does not improve education. It creates a fragmented system where schools are run by unaccountable businesses and individuals, making it even harder for parents.

The National Union of Teachers 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 must organise to defend education in Lewisham too.

London Councils are being held to to ransom. Growing pupil numbers mean that there is an urgent need to open new schools. But, to force through its privatising plans, the Government says that new schools have to be academies or free schools, not Local Authority schools.

The NUT says that Councils should be given the power to open new community schools - and the funds 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 academies and free schools. Now is certainly not the time to be accepting new academies in Lewisham - now is the time to be stepping up our campaign to reverse this privatisation!

Together, parents, teachers and trade unions can persuade Governors to think again. The campaign at Hove Park in Brighton has just stopped plans to turn their school into an academy. Please come to the meeting and discuss how we can defend education too.

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