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SALFORD SCHOOLS IN WHOLESALE ACADEMY BID
 

Star date: 25th April 2012

A Salford Star Exclusive

WHOLESALE PRIVATISATION OF SALFORD SCHOOLS

It's not in any election campaign materials but following Salford Star revelations yesterday about The Albion High and Marlborough Road Primary schools becoming academies, we can reveal that a further five schools have had academy applications approved, while others are bidding to become academies, as the wholesale privatisation of education in Salford begins.

Full story here


Following Salford Star revelations yesterday about The Albion High and Marlborough Road Primary becoming academies (click here), we can reveal that Dukesgate primary school in Little Hulton will also become an academy in September, with the principal's job already advertised.

The Salford Academy Trust, "created by Salford City College, in partnership with Salford Council and the University of Salford", is `sponsoring' Dukesgate primary which will open in September 2012.

The Salford Star understands that every primary and secondary school in Salford with a `satisfactory' rating is being approached by the Salford Academy Trust to become an academy, which basically takes the school out of local authority control and allows it to set its own agenda in terms of admissions, staff, syllabus, length of term times and school days, exclusions, and community use.

Academies can also choose whether to stick with Salford Council services or buy in their own from private companies. Academies have come under fire this week for buying in outside school catering facilities and ignoring healthy eating policies. Many are calling the ConDem's academy policy the privatisation of British education.

The eagerness of Salford Academy Trust to `sponsor' local academies was described last night by a Council source as "an attempt to muscle in on the market".

Salford Council has appointed an Academy Transition Co-ordinator "to oversee the conversion of schools to academies". It has also produced an `Academy Conversion Toolkit' for schools which states that "it is easy for the conversion process to overshadow the interests of children and young people".

In Salford, already approved to become academies are Oakwood High Special School, Beis Yaakov High School, Broughton Jewish Cassel Fox  Primary, Broadoak Primary and Swinton High School, while Oasis Academy MediaCityUK and Salford City Academy have been established for a few years.

The Albion High, Marborough Road primary and Dukesgate primary all intend to become academies in September, although parents from Albion High who contacted Salford Star yesterday didn't seem to know anything about the change, saying that they hadn't been consulted.

Under academies legislation, we understand that parents don't need to be legally consulted, and that the decision lies mainly with school governors who only have to consult "with those persons whom they think appropriate before converting into an academy".
 
Yet, academy status can seriously affect both parents and pupils, as was seen at Oasis Academy MediaCityUK before Christmas when pupils resorted to rioting to protest, as teachers and staff were made redundant in the middle of a school year (see here).

With a local election taking place next week, Salford Council's new schools policy under the ruling Labour majority isn't mentioned in any Labour Party campaign literature. Nor is the move to academies mentioned in any of Labour mayoral candidate, Ian Stewart's literature. Yet academies are incredibly controversial and should be debated openly as part of the election.

Given the secrecy that surrounds attempts by the Salford Academy Trust to privatise Salford schools (see previous Salford Star feature click here) it's almost like Salford City Council is trying to keep the policy hidden until after the elections


 

Alice Searle. aosearle@gmail.com wrote
at 22:13:27 on 28 April 2012
As a teacher and also a teacher trainer, I am very concerned about the changes that are planned for Salford Schools. The offer of money has bribed the Council into passing over schools from public supervision to private control. Parents and children have been 'conned' by the new uniforms and the flashy buildings, which come with these 'academies.' Even the name is used to deceive people. 'An Academy' is a pretentious [unwarrented claims of importance]name!! How many parents know that an academy does not have to appoint trained teachers, does not have to follow the National Curriculum or even the standards for healthy school meals. They may choose to emphasise a theme which suits the beliefs or aims of the private funders. For example, if one of the funders happens to be of a particular religious philosophy then that 'line' could be pushed. All the standarda and controls, built up since the 1870's, when education became a public responsibility, will be in jeopardy. This policy is NOT a policy of the LEFT so why is Salford allowing it to happen. It is a policy which fits nicely into doctines of the RIGHt. I have not heard any of the prospective Mayors give their opinions on this. Have they too been conned?

andilou wrote
at 05:09:08 on 27 April 2012
As a parent with a child at Albion High School. We did recieve letters stating the schools proposal in becoming a Academy.

Ex-labour , all traitors wrote
at 12:16:20 on 25 April 2012
Paul Gerrard . Why were the TUSC not able to field a candidate for Mayor ? Why have you not fielded more candidates for councillors in Salford ? Your policies are excellent , and , with people like George Tapp , should be on a winner in this city . We all know how the usual con/lib/lab shites have betrayed this city , and country , and demand a real alternative who will put the People first . We want no more of the usual shites , rubbish , traitors , and self-serving scum who have shafted the Working Masses . WE DEMAND REAL CHANGE .

Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 12:15:59 on 25 April 2012
Just a thought, If you were running an Educational establishment in Salford, Under threat from constant shaving of local and central government cuts, wouldn't You seriously consider this proposal? I say this with 50% of the council spending going on education yet council mandarins going hell for leather on closing for closing sake. The planning department should also take a long hard look at itself - where I live you've got a school where once stood a council estate and (now the bulldozers have done their work) housing/shopping mall where the school once was - i'd love to know the justification for such ideas.

Paul Gerrard wrote
at 10:21:29 on 25 April 2012
I couldn't agree more about the need for a new party for working people, and we have made a start with the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. We are backed by RMT trade union, who had the sense to disaffiliate from Labour a few years ago. Many RMT members are standing in these local elections and one, RMT President Alex Gordon, heads the TUSC list for the London Assembly. We are standing George Tapp in Ordsall. We couldn't manage a candidate for mayor in Salford but we have a TUSC candidate in Liverpool, Tony Mulhearn, one of the Liverpool 47. Check out his campaign tony4mayor.

Ian O'Brien wrote
at 09:41:01 on 25 April 2012
Can anybody point me at any decision that Salfords labour controlled council has made, or any single thing they have implemented in recent memory, which bears any resemblance to that which we might expect from a Left wing organisation? All they have done, for years now, is hop into bed with private companies and sold off our services to private companies. I really can see no difference at all between Labour and Tory in Salford. Except, perhaps, that the Tories look like smarmy little public school boys with no idea what they are doing, while the so called 'Labour' men look like they have been sleeping outside. Salford, indeed the entire UK, need a third way. We need a new new labour party. One which has the balls and imagination to get through this global financial screw up without running scared and hopping straight into bed with the private sector. Have they learned nothing?

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