Sunday 10 March 2013

An intensive week of parent action ahead on forced academies

Parents are taking on the dictator
 Following the formation last  week of an umbrella parents' campaigning group Parents Against Forced Academies (PAFA), this week will see the most intensive action yet opposing Michael Gove's policy of forced academies.

On Tuesday there is a Westminster Hall debate by MPs on the issue of forced academies. Ian Mearns Labour MP for Gateshead told the Save Gladstone Park Parents Action Group:

Let me start by saying that I am firmly opposed to forced academisation. I think school improvement is a vitally important process, but it is not contingent upon schools changing their status and becoming academies, but as you will already be aware that is not a view shared by the Secretary of State and his supporters. Interestingly the Chief inspector of schools, who heads up Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, is on record as telling the Education Select Committee that academisation was not the recommended model for Primary Schools, given the different economies of scale for Primary’s, as opposed to their Secondary counterparts.

However, the dilemma is that many dozens of schools now are in a similar position to your own, and unless there is some coming together of the schools who are opposed to this process, I can only see the schools being picked off and ground down by the process.

John Pugh’s debate in Westminster Hall on Tuesday is only a debate where Minister’s are made aware of the concerns of Members of Parliament and their constituents about various matters. It does not form part of the legislative process, but can be important in terms of getting issues on the record and a formal Ministerial response.

As a member of the Education Select Committee we are constantly trying to hold Ministers to account to justify their policies and the way in which they are implemented by the Department; and you can be rest assured that I will continue to thoroughly scrutinise all policies by the Government.

On Wednesday March 13th the Gladstone Park parents will be assembling at 3.15pm in the Year 3-4 playground at the school to travel down to Victoria together to join the NUT organised  'Gove Must Go' from Cathedral Piazza (assemble 5pm) to march to the DfE. Roke Primary campaigners will also be joining the march.

On Tuesday March 19th  Roke Parents will lobby the Harris Federation who are the academies group chosen by Michael Gove to become Roke Primary';s sponsor. Lord Harris is a major donor to Tory Party funds. The lobby is at 4.30pm outside the Harris HQ, opposite the Whitgift Centre, a few minites from East Croydon station. (Brent residents can get there directly from Wembley Central Station on Southern Trains - they run hourly at 6 minutes to the hour). Full address 4th Floor, Norfolk House, Wellesley Road, CRO 1LH7

Not content with that on Saturday March 16th  parents from the Downhills, Roke and Gladstone Park campaigns against forced academies will be guest speakers at the Anti Academies Alliance Annual General Meeting in London.

The Guardian describes the DfE broker's behaviour HERE

1 comment:

Iftikhar Ahmad said...

Muslim Academies

Academies bill will enable a radical overhaul of England's schools, giving every school the chance to convert to an academy and giving parents the right to create free schools outside the control of LAs.The new schools will drive up standards and the education would be in accordance with the needs and demands of the parents. It will help native Brits, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and other minorities to set up their own schools for the education of their children. It is nothing to do with integration or segregation. Segregation already exists in British schoolings, it is not going to widen. President Obama supports free schools in America because they have benefitted the least well off the most. Educating children is the priority.

It is wrong to assert that a small unrepresentative group of Muslim activists tried to Islamises a state primary school in Woking. The silent majority of Muslim parents would like to send their children to state funded Muslim schools. They are not extremists who want to change of ethos of those schools where
Muslim children are in majority. It is the democratic right of every Muslim parent to see that their children receive balanced education, so that when their children grow up, they do not find themselves cut off from their cultural roots and linguistic skills. It is a question of common sense, humanity and reason that bilingual Muslim children must be educated in state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. The whole world believes that people who speak more than one language is a vital economic asset. Pupils who speak more than one language do not cause difficulties. It is the politicians and monolingual teachers who are the problems for bilingual pupils. Muslim school will help to cultivate the child into a healthy, fully flourishing individual with a passion for learning. There are hundreds of state and church schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be opted out as Muslim Academies.

Muslim schools are not only faith schools; they are more or less bilingual schools. Bilingual Muslim children need to learn and be well versed in Standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. State schools with monolingual teachers do not teach Standard English to Migrant children. Bilingual Muslim children learn English in the playgrounds and in the streets. They speak street language with its own grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. The teachers let them speak the same accent in the classroom. They have no courage to stop them or correct them. This is one of the main reasons why one third of children have difficulties with reading when they leave primary schools. Majority of such children are Muslims. In other European countries and in the sub-continent argot and slang are not allowed into the classroom. In Britain primary school teachers do not feel that it’s their role to interfere with self-expression in any shape or form. They encourage children to read poems and stories written in ethnic dialects.

Muslim faith schools are more or less bilingual schools. Priority will be given to the teaching of Standard English, Arabic, Urdu and other community languages. All Muslim children will learn and be well versed in Standard English and Quranic Arabic and at the same time they will learn and be well versed in one of the community language to keep in touch with their cultural roots and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. Majority of children will learn Urdu language because it is a lingua franca of the migrants from the sub-continent. And majority of British Muslims are from Pakistan and their national language is Urdu.
Iftikhar Ahmad