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SALFORD AND ECCLES MP TELLS PARENTS TO CREATE UPROAR OVER SCHOOL ACADEMIES
 

Star date: 1st February 2016

`CREATE UPROAR' OVER `WILD WEST' TORY SCHOOLS POLICY SAYS REBECCA LONG-BAILEY

Salford and Eccles MP, Rebecca Long-Bailey, told parents to create "as much uproar as possible" over Tory Government plans to convert loads of Salford schools into academies.

Speaking at a Salford UNISON Question Time on Saturday - which also included David Wootton, CEO of Salford Academy Trust, and Alasdair Smith from the Anti Academies Alliance the Salford MP slated the Government's privatisation and commercialisation of schools agenda... "It's disgraceful and it is creating a Wild West..."

Full details here...


Salford UNISON Academies Question Time Salford UNISON Academies Question Time
click image to enlarge

"Business people in sharp suits are coming..."

Salford and Eccles MP, Rebecca Long-Bailey, laid into the Tory Government's schools agenda at a Salford City UNISON-hosted Question Time at Buile Hill Park Hall on Saturday.

"I don't think a lot of parents understand what academies are and what the future holds for our schools" she said "We need to educate them and have a co-ordinated strategy where parents are outside schools on a designated day to get national media coverage.

"Unfortunately this Bill is going through, and the only way we can do anything about it at this stage is by creating as much uproar as possible; and at the same time try to mitigate against what might happen should we not be successful in campaigning" she added "We've got to have a two tiered approach and that involves politicians as well..."

Only one councillor, Kate Lewis, attended the event, called by UNISON `to have the fullest debate' as `the latest Government Education and Adoption Bill seems intended to force another wave of school academies'.

Rebecca Long-Bailey told the audience that the Parliamentary Labour Party has tabled eighty amendments to the "scandalous" Bill, which had all been ignored by the Conservative Government.

The Education and Adoption Bill seeks to convert, not only failing schools but also `coasting' schools into academies. And, as speakers noted, it will be a Regional Schools Commissioner and the Secretary of State who will ultimately have the power to force academisation of Salford schools, meaning more centralisation and less democratic local control.

While a representative of Consilium Academies - which is eyeing up Salford schools - ducked out of the Question Time at the last minute, the three remaining speakers were all against the principle of academies but had different ways of dealing with the issue.

Alasdair Smith, from the Anti Academies Alliance, and who has been teaching for over twenty years, pointed out that there's no evidence to show that academies improve the performances of schools....The "comprehensive system is being dismantled brick by brick" he added "power is being handed to unelected chief executives and businesses" and the only way to stop it is by political activity...

"Business people in sharp suits are coming" he said, painting a picture of "a Wild West of rogue head teachers, appointing their friends and believing in profit with no morals...

"We have to offer a different vision and hope" he insisted "The only way to protect Salford is to fight...If head teachers and governors stand against this, will Cameron send in the tanks? What have we got to lose?...If we keep accepting defeat after defeat they will run riot. This about a segregated education run for profit...Why are we accepting this if it is not popular?"

David Wootton, CEO of Salford Academy Trust (SAT) who started teaching at Buile Hill in 1997, said people had to "wake up to the reality" that Salford schools will be "carved up", and that his Salford Academy Trust with the involvement of Salford College (75% control), Salford University (12.5% control) and Salford City Council (12.5% control) - was set up as a `solution' to mitigate against the worst excesses of academies...

"If this is going to happen, why don't we take control of our own destiny?" he said "There are times when it pays to be a pragmatist...I prefer doing the right thing by our kids, rather than being mown down" he argued, in answer to those who wanted to resist the Government... "King Canute drowned didn't he?"

Rebecca Long-Bailey, literally sat in the middle of the other two speakers, was up for political activity and `mitigation' but added that it was a "frightening time for children whose schools are converted into academies...We can't not campaign on it as they will push this through as fast as they can and people will only realise when it's too late..."

Jenny Langley, Head Teacher at Albion Academy, part of SAT, argued that everyone was "fighting the wrong battle"; it was about north versus south, and rural versus cities, where resources had been concentrated... "It should be about funding, not the description of the school"...

Judith Elderkin from the NUT said there were three or four schools in Salford flirting with becoming academies as heads were "worried sick" about their OFSTED reports. She compared the results/ratings-driven culture of academy threats to the Premier League...Head teachers, she argued, were becoming "like football managers at the two Manchester clubs".

Ameen Hadi, from UNISON, explained that in Salford the direction of schools happened "behind closed doors" and wanted parents and pupils to make decisions on acadamies. He called for a commitment for each school to have a debate on the issues "to hear all sides"...

Summing up, David Wootton said the Salford Academy Trust was about "running our schools in our city"; Rebecca Long-Bailey emphasised the need to fight the Government... "What they've put on the table is disgraceful and it is creating a Wild West" she explained, slating the "commercialisation and privatisation" of academies, "run in the interests of profit - and that is not what education is about."

Alasdair Smith, from the Anti Academies Alliance, stressed how unpopular the privatisation of the school system is... "We need to put the community at the heart of running the school and academies don't do that" he said "The only way to get social change is by political action...Get out and campaign!"


* Chatsworth High Special School begins consulting on Thursday to become a multi-academy trust.


For more background on academies see previous Salford Star article Could Every School In Salford Become Privatised? click here

Michael Felse Free in Salford wrote
at 21:28:08 on 07 February 2016
Thank you to Just a Thought. I too remember the years of poor service, low pay and unreliable quality. We are a big collective of Council Tax payers giving over to our elected our hundreds of millions of pounds every year. We expect higher level quality for the large cost we pay. Every month when I pay my Salford Council Tax 137 each month it makes me think what I should get for the price. I do not get value. I do not want money used for Councillor pet projects. I want a best services for local people and a domestic Council Tax freeze for 4 years. I want to see an end to all the bad things being done to our neighbours, those most at risk from our bad Labour Council.

Just a Thought... wrote
at 18:33:24 on 07 February 2016
Mr Felse - two words I want consigned to the Dustbin of History - "BEST VALUE" - I don't know what side of the political spectrum you've swung to this week, but I was working around the council buildings when that phrase was first banded about. It led to an almost Cromwellian attitude towards Catholic High Schools in the area and Job Cuts up and down the Civic centre as senior officers played Mission Impossible - trying to get platinum for the price of tin plate. Its led to most of the almagamations and mergers of services spending more cash as they move into new property - As government steps in with academies we're going to have a lot of empty buildings around the city...the juggling of the old buile hill building is evidence enough for that.

Michael Felse Free in Salford wrote
at 15:01:25 on 02 February 2016
Living in Salford 15 years makes me happy to thank everyone for their good friendship. Because of all these good people around us I will stand again in our Salford Mayor election. Independent, I stand as The Free Mayor. I believe it disgraceful for anyone to get paid 60,000+ a year for just being our City Chair. Your Salford Free Mayor will list 20 quality services that proves "Who Else But Felse" will be the best value. My qualifications include by Oxford University in Top Management along with Leadership Awarded Gold Medal. This makes me best placed to challenge our MPs and Councillors. Salford people deserve a Free Mayor based on Trust not one ruled by those party politics we have grown to despise.

Ex Labor Voter wrote
at 15:00:55 on 02 February 2016
Who would believe we have 3 Labour Councillors trying to get their Labour nomination for Salford Mayor when not one of them has a care about answering why their MP is out of town, out of touch and out of reach? OH come to think of it they cannot be bothered to give us answers to anything about our Salford. If there was no big pay for the job they would not be going for it. What's the lowest pay a Labour Councillor will do the Mayor job for. I would not pay them in milk tokens after they all turned their backs on us Salford floods.

Salford lad wrote
at 06:41:44 on 02 February 2016
Let's not be fooled by an MP who doesn't even live in Salford. Academies may actually be a good thing as let's face it the schools in Salford have a history of failure. Where is the MP on tackling the mayor on destroying this City or is that in the too hard to do box! I support academies as the future, it's little wonder teachers don't like them as the underperfomers wil at last be found out!

Noginthenog wrote
at 06:41:40 on 02 February 2016
Labour Bottom has this one right. Our expensive MP should move to Salford if she thinks she can do any good work here and benefit the community and schools.

David cameron wrote
at 06:41:28 on 02 February 2016
Schools are safer in our hands "labour says" hope high school, tootal drive, seedley school, St George's ect, ect. All closed under labour remember. Salford labour council, could't run a piss up in a brewery. Hospitals safe in labour hands, hope hospital maternity unit closed under hazel blears and labour, NHS privatisation standing today at 6%, 5% of that introduced under labour. All the above facts. Still trust labour, wake up and smell the coffee. Has Rebecca long moved to salford like she promised, or was this just another promise just to get the job, just another typical labour person, promising the world, delivering on nothing.

David cameron wrote
at 06:41:01 on 02 February 2016
David cameron wrote at 6:08:14 AM on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 Absolutely great news, the education of our kids should be paramount in the education system, instead as it is now, a load of leftwing socialist militants teachers who are destroying kids education with leftwing indoctrination. To the people who want to come on and slate me, go back into the star archives, you'll find that salford is second from bottom in the north west education league table, propped up by, was it Tameside council. Kids come first, not the politics of a load of socialist militant teachers...... Rebecca long is totally against academies as are the rest of the leftwing in the education system, because academies will be in control of who they hire as teachers, not the salford Labour Party, meaning all the incompetent and useless teachers will be found out and sacked and quiet rightly. Rebecca long knows the introduction of academies means the end of the Labour Party in the long term, meaning kids will get a rounded education, not a socialist education as they now get "remember the Labour Party wanted all 16 year olds to get the vote, because they had just come out of 12 years of a socialist brainwashing education and knew they'd vote labour". Rebecca's longs opposition to academies Isn't about having the best education for our kids, it's about keeping labour in or near power. Time to take politics out of our schools and to make the number one priority, educating the kids of the country. Just been released in the last couple of days, Britain, in the world education league table are second from bottom in English, maths and sciences. Shows you what decades of socialism has done to our education system. Just look at the people in the picture, do you really want these people in charge of your child's education, socialist elitist's who hate education, except for their own kids. socialists can't control educated people, educated people can think for themselves, that's why they need to dumb down the education system, to stay in power.

The end wrote
at 19:43:10 on 01 February 2016
Labour mp against a labour idea, what ever next?

Labour Bottom wrote
at 19:43:07 on 01 February 2016
Our Salford Labour MP pledged to move her Home address into Salford from Merseyside. Is her big promise fulfilled to bring her nearer to Schools and our other local needs. Alternatively is she giving advice from afar while paid 67k a year as our Salford and Eccles MP? What does our MP plan for her red army party to do with our schools as Salford heads towards competing outside the EU?

Paul Gerrard wrote
at 15:02:57 on 01 February 2016
I attended this meeting on Saturday and there was some discussion about the strike action being taken in Small Heath Birmingham by teachers opposed to the academisation of their school. I have just heard this morning that they have achieved their aim and there are no longer any plans for an academy there. The academy juggernaut CAN be beaten - as it was at neighbouring Prestwich Arts College a couple of years ago.

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