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SALFORD OASIS ACADEMY MEDIACITYUK RIOT OVER REDUNDANCIES
 

Star date: 8th November 2011

A Salford Star Exclusive

PUPIL PROTESTS, EXCLUSIONS AND MAYHEM AS OVER A DOZEN OASIS TEACHERS MADE REDUNDANT…

"It was wild…It was like St Trinian's!" Oasis pupils

Last Tuesday the former Hope High School, now known as Oasis Academy MediaCityUK, exploded as pupils discovered that over a dozen of their teachers were to be made redundant.

What began as a peaceful walk-out and protest by Year 10 and 11 pupils, ended with fireworks and fire alarms being set off as all pupils learned the full scale of the cutbacks at one of Salford's `flagship' schools.

The MediaCityUK Academy is supposed to be a `media centre of excellence' but no-one from the academy would comment on the mini-riot. However, Salford Star spoke exclusively to some of the pupils involved…

Click here for full story…


`Save Our Teachers…Save Our Teachers'… This was the chant going up at the Oasis Academy MediaCityUK last Tuesday as pupils learned the amount of teachers being axed in cutbacks at one of Salford's `flagship' schools.

"It said in the paper that five teachers were being made redundant but then we found out that it was actually 13 and we weren't happy with it - some of us tried to speak to the Head Teacher but he just wouldn't listen to us…" one of the Oasis pupils told us.

"They always say that years 10 and 11 are dead important years for your GCSEs but the teachers that they're getting rid of are the ones that teach them and they're not being replaced" another added "They are half way through teaching A levels, and we don't know what we're going to do. It's just ridiculous."

As a peaceful protest, those affected made their feelings known at the school gates, while others went around the school with a petition…

"It wasn't meant to be a big protest and it was only meant to be years ten and eleven but the whole school turned up and it got a bit out of control" another pupil added "All the teachers stood there saying `Go in, go in' but everyone just barged past them going `Save Our Teachers' and stuff like that."

A group of pupils from the school gates were eventually persuaded to go and talk to the head teacher in his office but by this time, we understand, things were getting out of control…

"Everyone was still stood there and they were letting off bangers and stuff like that, and kids were throwing things" we were told "It was wild…It was like St Trinian's. Eventually they threatened them with exclusions to get them back in school."

Once back in school, there was a fire alarm practise but "then the alarm went off another four times which was the pupils just getting the teachers outside and they started chanting all this stuff again"…

According to the pupils, what happened last Tuesday at the Oasis Academy wasn't just mindless trouble making – it was young people showing support for teachers and caring about their education which will be severely disrupted by the cuts.

"The teachers were really upset, and some were crying after the interviews they had when they learned they were being made redundant" a pupil said "The full school has been shook up, some these teachers have been there for years and they are some of the best ones."

The response by the school, we understand, was to exclude ten pupils while others received detentions. The Salford Star has since had complaints from parents about the school's draconian measures.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has responded to the redundancies by holding a strike ballot amongst its members…

"There are a number of redundancies at the school, and we are representing an NUT member who has been made redundant" says Avis Gilmore, regional secretary of the NUT North West.

"We are in the process of ballotting our members for strike action because we don't believe it's been a fair and proper and transparent process."

The Oasis Trust, which took over the former Hope High School, has been at the centre of controversy ever since it moved into formal education. Three years ago there was a pupil riot at its Oasis Academy Mayfield over student conditions. That ended with the Head Teacher resigning.

Meanwhile, the Salford Star has constantly questioned both the `non-faith' school's Christian ethos ("we will end up with a church which is also a school…a school that is also a church…" Steve Chalke, head of Oasis Trust) and the new school building on Salford Quays which is forecast to be half empty when it opens next September (for more details see links below).

"The head teacher blamed everyone else but himself – he said the ones before had overspent and left him to deal with it, that there were too many teachers and not enough pupils" said Year 10 protesters "But the school's spent money on all these ridiculous things like two whiteboards that cost five grand each and are never used.

"There's also a radio station that cost around £8,000 that's not used…There's Apple laptops that have been there for three years and never been used - they've got all this high tech equipment and no teachers!" they added "And now they're moving to a school that's three times as big as this one and no pupils to go in it. It's getting ridiculous."

You could argue that it's been allowed to get like this, with the school being a law unto itself, because Academies are outside local authority control. However, Salford Council has encouraged the growth of Oasis in the city through its constantly faltering Building School For The Future programme.

The information that the Salford Star has obtained on the disturbances from Oasis pupils cannot be verified because the no-one from the school would comment – which in itself is very strange because the Oasis Academy has major links with Salford's Media City and prides itself on its media teaching.

However, we have found a job description for the Deputy Principal from March this year which stated that the successful candidate "will have the ability to excite and enthuse students and staff, empowering them to maximise their potential and share our deeply held belief that all students can succeed given the right opportunity and support…"

It seems that when students become `empowered' they are excluded. And that the school's `deeply held belief that all students can succeed given the right opportunity and support' means sacking their teachers half way through GCSEs...

Meanwhile, the result of the teachers' strike ballot will be known tomorrow…

Update 14th December 2011 - click here

Update 9th November 2011 - Teachers Vote For Strike Action: click here

See more allegations about Oasis plus details on Anti Academies Conference 26th November - click here

Previous Salford Star Stories on Oasis Academy...

* See Oasis Academy MediaCity Half Empty - click here

* See It's The Non-Faith School For Christ's Sake - click here

* See The Mary Burns White Elephant Award - click here

* See School For S(c)andals - click here

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

wrote
at 12:18:54 on 16 November 2011
Some pertinent facts need to be remembered about this school. Before it became an academy, Hope High School was on the verge on being thrown into special measures by Ofsted. The school this year achieved the highest GCSE results in its history, either as an academy or in its previous incarnation as Hope High School. Before becoming an academy, Hope High School was almost deserted outside school hours. It is now a community hub, being used for sport, adult education and even Open University courses. The academy is proposing to form links with a school in Russia, which will vastly expand the pupils' cultural horizons. Where I agree with the Salford Star is that the academy owes, staff, pupils and parents an explanation for the redundancies that are to be imposed. However, I also believe that the academy deserves credit for the improvements it has made to the educational provision of Hope High School.
 
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 13:28:42 on 14 November 2011
You know what i find amusing about all of this ? After years of messing about with Salford Schools and getting what they want - the idea's been flipped on it's head! I could be crass about the Oasis Academy, after all - it's being planted opposite my home in a vain attempt to cash in on the BBC Move. But those who moan should think back - the Weaste/Pendleton Zone has become the centre of the Central Salford education universe as far as Salford council were concerned. They tried it on with the RC sector (by my estimation, three high schools went by the wayside to create that RC 'College' - (with Sixth Form!) on Weaste lane) Then we had the closures of schools that did not matter to those who held opinions. I'm thinking of Ordsall and Windsor here - Ordsall turned into "Quays Campus" after it 'Closed' - but that didn't last either with Salford College relocating to the "City Campus" (probably to gain closer links to the nearby Uni..). What i want to know is this, when are people going to object when these things come up before they actually happen?
 
julie boston wrote
at 08:22:52 on 10 November 2011
The school students and the NUT need our support. Oasis is privatised piety and sd not be imposed on young people or anyone else. Henbury Comprehensive school in Bristol is fighting for its survival. The government has allowed a Free School to exist nearby which is an additional threat. Spread the fightback. Julie Boston
 
Jane wrote
at 07:21:16 on 09 November 2011
Oasis doesn't seem to have much luck really. Just goes to show: academies aren't the answer and sometimes create more problems. Such arrogance by "sponsors" that they know best and then just do nothing as children's education gets messed up. http://tinyurl.com/css643f http://tinyurl.com/cdmvzu2
 
Alice Searle wrote
at 07:21:10 on 09 November 2011
The children and their parents need to know the reasons for these redundancies. They should call the headteacher to account for the action. I hope the teachers also will join the parents. Now we see the warnings given last year about these privately finance ventures, which work outside the Council's power, coming to fruition. An Academy works like a business. If it sees it is losing money it will cutback. Hense the action to remove some teachers. But education should never work to a business model. Likewise health provision should not work to a business model.So what is happening to the academy will be happening to our hospital staff...I guess that has started! Are we going to let our tried and tested systems for running education and health be turned into companies? Remember companies sell things and so, whatever Oasis owners say, they are selling religion. To follow a religion or not should be a private matter not a school 'ethos' Something very sneeky is happening and I think the pupils are on to it!
 
Paul Starr wrote
at 07:20:16 on 09 November 2011
Will you please leave our council leaders alone and let them get on with wreaking the city of Salford for when they have finished perhaps the people of Salford will do some thing about it. And why have the same council allowed Tesco to cut down over 200 trees to make way for their store to ad to the other 9 tesco stores already not far away. Logic and democracy are really dead RIP
 
Albert wrote
at 07:20:06 on 09 November 2011
Mark. Voting for anyone is like accepting that you are going to get anally raped ... But wishing to choose the brand of lube!
 
Mark Armstrong wrote
at 16:57:18 on 08 November 2011
Vote Labour! you know it makes sense
 
Albert wrote
at 12:31:50 on 08 November 2011
What we have here is indoctrination failure! Students thinking for themselves? Quick! Exclude them!
 
mary ferrer wrote
at 12:31:43 on 08 November 2011
Could this be down to falling numbers,the new school has been build too far from the catchment area or is there another reason. I would like to know are these teachers old staff if so I have my own idea as to why they maybe going. Look at the school built in London all the staff had to sign a contract with some very odd critera in it. So we have another balls up with our schools for the future. Can't this council get anything right, this is our childrens future and they can't get that bloody right. We are going to end up with so many white elephants thanks to our council.
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 12:31:39 on 08 November 2011
Yet another example of the private sector being where it shouldn't.
 
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