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SALFORD COUNCIL LEADER CALLS FOR CRISIS TALKS WITH OASIS ACADEMY MEDIACITYUK
 

Star date: 15th November 2011

A Salford Star Exclusive

JOHN MERRY CALLS FOR MEETING WITH OASIS ACADEMY MEDIACITYUK BOSSES

Amidst growing unrest surrounding Oasis Academy MediaCityUK, Salford Council Leader John Merry has called for a meeting "at the earliest opportunity" with the Chief Executive of Oasis Community Learning, which runs the Academy, and its Headteacher Patrick Ottley-O'Connor.

This follows a recent pupil riot at the school, a teachers' strike called for next week and a growing list of allegations about how the school is managed.

Full story here…


As Oasis Academy MediaCityUK comes close to meltdown, Salford Council Leader, John Merry, has called for a meeting with the Chief Executive of Oasis Community Learning, which runs the Academy, and its Headteacher Patrick Ottley-O'Connor, to try and resolve the controversy surrounding the former Hope High School.

Teaching unions, the NUT and NASAWT have called a strike at the Academy for 22nd November in protest at redundancies, increased workload and working conditions (see here). This follows a riot at the school two weeks ago after pupils learned that their teachers would be sacked at Christmas (see here).

Meanwhile, the Salford Star has been informed of a whole string of allegations from well placed sources within the Academy about exam corruption, sexism, staff bullying, nepotism and lots more. The Oasis Academy cannot be challenged on the truth of any of this by elected representatives because it is outside local authority control. And when the Salford Star originally asked the school to comment we got no reply.

Nevertheless, there are Salford councillors on the school's governing body (Academy Council) and Salford Council Leader, John Merry, has now demanded a meeting with school bosses.

"I have written to the Chief Executive of Oasis Community Learning to seek a meeting with him and the Headteacher at the earliest opportunity to clarify the position of the school and discuss any issues of concern that as a local authority we could assist them with" he told the Salford Star diplomatically

"As an Academy the school does not directly report to the local authority" he added "but we take our responsibility very seriously in relation to the pupils and their learning."

UPDATE 22nd NOVEMBER 2011 - OASIS SHUT DOWN BY TEACHERS STRIKE - click here
 

jo wrote
at 09:09:19 on 09 February 2012
My children and children of freinds go to oasis and the school rules are unbelievable I get requests to go into school over petty things some of the staff are very intimidating to pupils and some parents there are few staff that most pupils have anything decent to say about spk to the pupils again and parents and see just what is really thought about the school given the choice my children would not be sent to an academy they would go to education government run school.
 
Salford Star wrote
at 12:35:12 on 22 November 2011
See no-one comment below - there's a new Oasis article on the site re the strike at the school this morning and the school's lack of communication with anyone. Meanwhile, the Hope site cannot be set up as any kind of school as the Council have already sold the playing field! PE there must be fun...
 
no-one wrote
at 12:31:36 on 22 November 2011
Sorry about the long link! Just google 'brit school and media city uk'. Also an interesting article on the antiacademies.org.uk website. I don't know why the management have't spoken to you. Have they not released a press statement? Maybe the old Hope school site can be set up as a 'free school' when it is vacated!
 
No-one wrote
at 12:16:26 on 22 November 2011
Hi, this is no-one again. Thanks for printing my comments. I accept your reply, but I feel that this publicity will harm the students - although I guess you could argue that this is of Oasis' making and you are just reporting what you know. Can you not also print some of the great things that the students have achieved? I do accept that the redundancies will probably affect the achievement of the students in a negative way. This is a shame as I believe the Salford Oasis has achieved great results this year. On another note, I have also heard that another academy may open on the Media City location (a Brit school). Surely this is not good as the Oasis building will be hard enough to fill as it is. Does anyone know if an Academy can be shut due to low numbers? Or because so much has been invested will it open come hell or high water? I don't think any protests will change anything, but students will be the ones to suffer with all that is happening (editor's note: we've taken a link out of this comment as long links kill the website!)
 
heatherbelle wrote
at 07:17:54 on 21 November 2011
Well Matthew it's hard to know who to complain to as acadenies are seemingly not accountable to anyone, even Michael Gove admits this is a problem! So Salford Star keep up your good work, highlighting the problems and sharing information as you receive it. Staff are on strike on Tuesday because of the redundancies.
 
Matthew wrote
at 16:31:22 on 20 November 2011
Do these 'well placed sources' have any evidence for their 'whole string of allegations' against the academy, or is this just the word of a few anonymous people, who may possibly have an axe to grind, against the school? If there is proof of exam corruption, staff bullying and nepotism, then it is the duty of the school's accusers to report it to the appropriate authority. As for coucil knowledge's suggestion that the academy is failing, I would like to know how achieving the most successful GCSE results in the school's history amounts to failure.
 
caroline wrote
at 18:23:16 on 18 November 2011
no one,, yes the site does listen..yours is there to read.As all sides are.My home was trashed by the council..I got so many people not careing .. And thinking rich bitch..which is untrue..They did not understand it could have been there home..If you have anything to say 100% sure ..They do both sides..They can report ...Surrport this paper..all..Salford people and else were
 
council knowledge wrote
at 11:47:08 on 18 November 2011
Despite advice from officers of the council that the Oasis academy was doomed to failure from the outset Merry in his usual dogmatic approach had an anal fixation to build this school . Now he can perhaps realise how foolhardy his decison was!
 
Mark Armstrong wrote
at 20:26:56 on 17 November 2011
Lets have it right, the school is built in an area populated on the whole buy single people living in one bedroom chicken sheds. If this were a business surely some thought would have given as to where your customer base was? Peel and John Merry have made the entire vision of Salford a Quay centric project with no provision for family units and because of that there are no children. As for BSF/PFI name it what you will as the finance all comes from one place, to piss it away on buildings and then find that your budget is short and you cannot pay staff is lunacy.
 
David wrote
at 17:55:21 on 17 November 2011
No one is debating the successful GCSE results Matthew. It is the lack of accountability and lack of comment from the headteacher. How does the head know what will be reported if he does nothing?
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 14:31:53 on 17 November 2011
The most telling sentence in the above article is "As an academy the school does not report to the local authority". This means that these so called academies are beyond the control of those who provide the funding ie the taxpayer. As for holding any one party responsible for the PFI fiasco does anybody think that those nice tories would do any different?
 
Matthew wrote
at 14:31:41 on 17 November 2011
What no-one says below is exactly right. Where are the stories about the good things that the school is doing, such as the improvement in GCSE results, increased use of the site by the community, and the links formed both the BBC locally and with communities in South Africa and India through the Oasis Trust? Credit where credit is due, please! As for the suggestion that someone from the school meets with you, is it really worth their while when they know that everything they say is likely to be reported in such a way as to portray the school in as negative a light as possible?
 
FredHampton wrote
at 09:30:12 on 17 November 2011
Spot on Mark. As you say PFI is going to bankrupt Local Authorities and the NHS. It was started by the tories but "new" labour stepped it up a few gears. A bit frustrating that the general population haven't realised or are not aware of the implications for healthcare and education and started protesting/complaining. SCC played their part by massaging pupil forecasts(badly) to fit in with the BSF project, hence the current fiasco with shortage of places.
 
Salford Star wrote
at 09:29:40 on 17 November 2011
See No-one comment below...Firstly, the Salford Star has never written that this is a PFI building. Secondly, as well as the kids, we have sought and got comments from teachers, the trade union and the Leader of Salford Council - who doesn't request a meeting with the school's Head Teacher and Chief Exec for nothing. Thirdly we originally asked the school to comment officially and they never even had the decency to acknowledge our e-mail. Fourthly, yes your comment was posted. We'd love to interview someone from Oasis to put to them a whole string of allegations about the way the school is run - do you think they will meet with us? It's not biais, it's an organisation refusing to be held accountable.
 
no-one wrote
at 09:18:50 on 17 November 2011
This isn't a PFI building. This website is totally biaised and has not contacted all parties concerned. They have listened to a school child ahead of adults involved and spread malicious rumours about the events that are not factually correct. This website is sensationalising the story unfairly. This website never writes stories about all the good things the academy does or its' successes. All this website will succeed in doing is unfairly damage the reputation of the Academy and distract the focus away from learning. I bet this doesn't even get posted.
 
Mark Armstrong wrote
at 19:05:48 on 16 November 2011
Another Labour landmark project that costs so much they cannot afford to staff it? Labour Parties high interest credit card "PFI" has doomed schools and hospitals. After the cost of PFI has been paid only the most meager of services will be offered as the rest of the money will go back to the private landlords that own the schools or hospitals. Hospitals to cut services to pay for £60bn private finance deal!! Hospitals will be forced to make cuts to pay for a massive rise in the bills for Labour's controversial private finance programme. Again they give you a really nice building but they cannot afford to run or staff it. Most of the major new building works for "Building Schools for the Future" are PFI-funded. This takes the construction and facilities management (but not the education provision) out of the financial control of Local Education Authorities because the construction and facilities management of a school becomes a source of revenue for the consortia involved for up to 30 years, even if the school is no longer needed. So billions of pounds of future debt of which some will run until 2049, the great grandchildren of this year’s school intake will still be paying for this when leave school to an uncertain future. You have allowed Labour on a national and local level to run amok with finance and create almost irreversible debt. 1997 £6bn deficit, £350bn debt - 2010 £167bn deficit, £860bn debt Well done Labour you have brought the countries national health system and the education system to its knees just so your MP's and councillors could pose for the media in front of a shiny new glass fronted school. But of course we all know that plate glass facades result in better educational achievement don't we? Vote Labour you know it makes sense!
 
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