Search

Campaigners criticise Newham Council for reversing academies vote pledge

PUBLISHED: 15:00 04 July 2018

Campaigners opposed to schools becoming academies at Newham Town Hall on Tuesday, July 3. Pic: JON KING

Campaigners opposed to schools becoming academies at Newham Town Hall on Tuesday, July 3. Pic: JON KING

Archant

Campaigners have clashed with the council after it reversed a pledge to force schools to hold ballots if they want to become academies.

The campaigners – who won a six-month long battle against Avenue Primary School in Manor Park becoming an academy – criticised the council’s refusal to call for binding parent and staff votes to decide if schools convert.

The council agreed to offer parents, schools and governors information about academisation including a guide on how to carry out “meaningful consultation” at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

By law, governing bodies usually decide if schools become academies.

Newham education chief Cllr Julianne Marriott said the council had no legal power to force schools to hold binding ballots, reversing a pledge the council agreed to in February.

But Louise Cuffaro, secretary of Newham branch of the National Education Union, said: “The council’s policy can be made so it encourages governing bodies to hold a ballot as part of a meaningful consultation process.

“This would be the strongest message to governing bodies and headteachers that Newham Council is opposed to academisation.”

Former chancellor George Osborne announced in March 2016 plans to force all schools in England to convert to academies by 2020 or commit to it by 2022. The government argues academies drive up standards. Critics say they ignore parents’ views and lack oversight of spending. They argue schools are being moved from public to private ownership.

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz, speaking at the meeting, said: “This was a significant issue causing a huge amount of distress among residents who wish to see schools maintaining their links with the local authority.”

She slammed the approach of former mayor Sir Robin Wales’s administration to keeping schools under council control.

“The approach to enhancing support to schools so they are encouraged to stay in the state maintained sector hasn’t been of the excellent standard I would expect from a Labour-led council.

“This is about pressing the reset button,” she said.

Another measure commits Newham to urging the government to allow academies to return to council oversight and for local authorities to open schools.

Related articles

Latest Newham Stories

18:00

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Norwegian announced today a partnership that sees the award-winning airline named presenting partner of the NBA London Game 2019.

National Basketball Association
16:00

East London Gymnastics Club member one of 10 talented youngsters on the shortlist

The experienced midfielder wasn’t part of the matchday squad on Saturday and boss Justin Edinburgh explained why post-match

Dean Brill
13:00

Youngsters overcame challenge from plenty of rivals to triumph

It might have a twitter account dedicated to parodying its daily delays, but c2c has been named the best train operator in the country at a prestigious rail industry awards night.

United Kingdom

The headteacher of one of the Newham schools closed due to a false widow spider infestation has thanked two of the borough’s colleges for providing classrooms to allow teaching to carry on.

Lister Community School

Leyton Orient and Hartlepool United played out an entertaining goalless draw on Saturday

Josh Koroma

Finance workers at Newham Council are set to walk out for four days in a row over how their jobs are evaluated.

Newham Council

PROMOTED CONTENT

Hanson Fernandes’ journey began in 2015 when he arrived in London from Goa, India.

Newsletter Sign Up

Newham Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now