Friday 12 April 2013

Brent tells Gove Gladstone Park improvement should be via local school partnership

Yesterday I had another letter published in the Brent and Kilburn Times responding to Mary Arnold's letter of the previous week when she accused me of having 'distorted views' on Brent Education.

In yesterday's letter I wrote that 'Brent Labour Party appears to have given up the fight against Michael Gove's policies and instead seeks to work with them. Parents (a reference to Gladstone Park parents fighting forced academy status) have been left on their own to challenge DfE bullying.

A posting appeared on the Brent Labour website by Mary Arnold containing the very welcome news that Brent Council has written to the Michael Gove asking him to accept that Gladstone Park's school improvement plan is 'most effectively delivered with the support of a local school partnership'.
Gladstone Park is the latest school to be challenged by Michael Gove's obsessive drive to academise all schools nationwide. 

When Ofsted comes and finds weaknesses, the DfE has a single solution to insist on a 'management change' which Gove equates with status change and imposing a sponsoring academy. This is regardless of the school's track record, the improvement plans or the parents' views.
We have a major responsibility to represent our parents and pupils to ensure high standards. We have written to the Secretary of State to ask him to accept the school improvement plan that would be most effectively delivered with the support of a local school partnership that is both knowledgeable and experienced in our children's needs.

The Academy Commission Report pointed out that academy status alone is not a panacea for improvement - some academies are good, some can turn round schools and others are failing or have weaknesses. As the Gladstone plan is declared fit for purpose and the school is keen to deliver with early signs of raised achievement already, it is more sensible to concentrate on this rather than disrupt the structure and disadvantage the pupils and teachers.

Our schools must not have inadequate standards or under perform but we know in Brent, based on sound evidence, that local federation and partnership is the best solution
Cllr Mary Arnold is the lead member for Children & Families at Brent Council

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