Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Further strike action planned as Copland staff fight ARK Academy takeover

Press release from union members at Copland Community School

Staff from the three teacher unions voted unanimously at a well attended meeting yesterday at Copland Community School to take further strike action over plans by the Interim Executive Board (IEB) to hand over the school to the ARK academy chain. The 'consultation' which they have announced including a public meeting is a sham.

Councillor Pavey, who was elected as lead member for Children and Families on the basis he was opposed to academies and free schools[1], has made it clear he supports ARK taking over Copland. He justifies this by saying that Copland 'is different' but cannot provide any supporting evidence for his decision regarding Copland. Redbridge Council which is Conservative has defended democratic, locally-run education and prevented Snaresbrook Primary being forced to be an academy

It is inflated hype about the academic ‘success’ of the Wembley Ark Academy. They have only just started their Year 10 intake. Copland is already improving as was shown by their exam results this summer.

Of course ARK will have the benefit of the new school building at Copland which has already been agreed. The spin doctors are trying to make it sound that ARK will be responsible for this.

Hank Roberts, Brent ATL Secretary said:
The consultation is a joke. They have already decided that the head of the ARK academy will be the joint headteacher of both schools and they have already decided it will be an ARK academy. They have offered no choice, and will seek to go ahead whatever the 'consultation' results. We are united in opposition to this. 
Tom Stone, Acting NASUWT said,:
It is quite scandalous how the pupils and staff are now being treated at Copland School. They have suffered enough. Their ex Head teacher is a convicted criminal and now their combined souls are being given over to an Academy chain that has no real interest in them, but is VERY interested in the future profit they can make from the school and their site.
Lesley Gouldbourne, Joint NUT Secretary said:
Brent Council and the IEB claim that converting to an academy will improve results. There is absolutely no evidence  for this and increasingly in fact the opposite. The tide is turning against academies. For example Sweden which used to be quoted by Gove is now dismantling them.
 As reported widely and in the Independent on 8/11/13:
More than 30 academies have been warned they must pull their socks up - or their sponsor could face the sack, the Government disclosed today.
[1]          Quote from Cllr Pavey on his blog 29.5.13 “I dislike the Academy system. There is no evidence that Academisation leads to improved educational outcomes. Academies fragment educational provision – when it should be based on local co-operation. And worst of all, Academisation is a step towards marketisation of education”.

Not:e The Chair of Ofsted (which condemned Copland to forced Academy status) is Dame Sally Morgan. Dame Sally Morgan is also an ‘Advisor’ to Ark Academies.

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