Sunday, 9 February 2014

Pavey misses a chance to learn how to stand up for education

Guest blog by 'Localist'
Several hundred people attended the London Education Conference at the Institute of Education on Saturday which discussed how to build on the success of the London Challenge and to further raise standards of education in London. 

Those present included authors, educational psychologists, headteachers, journalists, lecturers, members of the London Assembly, school governors and teachers. Also present were councillors including Leaders of London councils and Leaders of Children’s Services in London councils. 

Not present were either Muhammad Butt (Leader of Brent Council) or Michael Pavey (Lead Member for Children's Services in Brent). One possible reason for their absence was the presence at the Conference of someone whose recent principled and bold actions would have put their own feebleness to shame. For also in attendance was John White, Leader of Children's Services in Barking and Dagenham, who 3 weeks ago helped to challenge Michael Gove’s forced academisation policy in the High Court and was granted an injunction by Mr Justice Collins. 

An opportunity missed for Mr Pavey and Mr Butt as  John White could have given them all sorts of helpful tips on how to keep local education local rather than follow the Brent Council way which seems to be, ask people to vote for you in local elections and then, when elected, helpfully implement the policies of the party those same voters clearly rejected in the national election. Meanwhile at Copland, the IEB won’t allow a secret ballot on academisation, A level students have slipped behind because courses weren’t adequately staffed and their retired ex-teacher is not allowed on the premises to voluntarily help them catch up.


  1. Regarding the ex-teacher who 'is not allowed on the premises to voluntarily help them catch up'. Mr Pavey will soon be aware of this and Mr Butt too. In case the man brought in from the school in east London to run the IEB hasn't yet heard about it, could either of the elected Brent councillors who were voted in to represent Brent parents and students please have a word with him on Monday? This is about A levels, university entrance and kids' futures for God's sake. How dare they compromise Brent students' chances in this way.

  2. While Ark Academy are the prime advocates for "All Through Schools" saying it pushes up standards, what they fail to acknowledge is that parents start to cluster around schools. The recent figures published on secondary school preferences demonstrate clustering with both Ark and Wembley High in high demand. However this is to detriment to 4 secondary schools Copland, Crest boys and girls and Copland. It is inevitable the intake of Ark and Wembley high is very likely to be better than average. Is this why Ark are so in favour of "All Through Schools" as they have a better pool of candidates to select from than the 4 schools mentioned ? Surely Ark can not claim that it is just down to the teaching when they could be highly selective ! Elitism springs to mind.

    A Judicial Review should be called to allow everyone in community to have a saying on type of provision Copland school should be developed as.

    Other Boroughs have introduce Studio Schools as a way of supporting young people into different educational pathways. Forma MP Alan Johnson at recent debate on Social Mobility stated he was responsible enacting Studio School suggested there should be more of them.

    This debated about the future of Copland has been discussed behind closed doors. For open and transparent democracy the only way to resolve this matter is for a full Judicial Review. Anyone brave enough to submit an Epetition ?

  3. Interesting to hear what Delia Smith, Head of Ark Academy and prospective Part-time Head of Copland (does she get paid twice? can you run 2 schools at once and do a good job?), thinks of all this. Does she recommend blocking the progress of A level students in such a mean-minded way? If not, could she make this clear to Mr Price ( east end head and Chair of Copland IEB) who is handing over Copland to her company? More plausibly, could they at least concoct a consistent 'line' between
    them to reassure parents and students that an A level politics class is having its chances of academic success obstructed for the best of educational reasons consistent with the principles embedded in the Ark Academy 'vision'. Then we'd all feel much better about it all.

    1. attention of Ms Della Smith

      Head of Schools, Brent Council:

      Head of IEB: ‘For the attention of Grahame Price’

      Interim Head of Copland ‘For the attention of Dr Marshall’

  4. Disgustingly there are still no answers from the people above to all the questions asked by people on the first post by one of the students being blocked by this headteacher. Lots of support lots of questions but no answers. at

  5. Why am I not surprised that the Copland management oppose any initiative that has a proven effect upon a student's future. Their refusal to accomodate Mr.Allman is a sign of the management's petty refusal to acknowledge that the person most likely to help a student is the one that isn't in it for self-aggrandisement, or the promise of yet another 'cushy' number. I applaud Mr.Allman's initiative in filling a gap that was engineered by the current Copland management. Perhaps issues regarding Copland are becoming blurred but the fact remains that the systematic removal of both sucessful courses and the staff that so effectively managed them is pure idiocy. if I were Richard Marshall, or sitting on the IEB, I would be far more concerned about the formal qualifications and ability of the existing staff to deliver the core subjects and leave Mr.Allman to do what he does so well - as his results have shown!
    All thanks is due to the school that has housed Mr.Allman. Perhaps, Richard Marshall and his minions could take a trip there to see what is possible when management genuinely promote learning.

    1. True!. Mr Lantos at Preston Manor has demonstrated that he has more real concern for the A level students of Copland than Copland's own headteacher and Mr Price the chair of Copland IEB have. Not all that surprising as they were only paid to come in from outside to close the school down anyway and give it to Ark which is what they're going to do in September. Well done Mr Lantos for showing them how they are supposed to look after Brent students education.

  6. 6 kids in search of a teacher. One teacher in search of a class. Sounds like a Free School proposal to me. All you need now, Mr Allman, is an asbestos-lined shed, a crooked accountant and some mediaeval ideas on gender roles and, voila, you're in business. Get Birbalsingh on board (or Edward Sissorhands if she's busy, nobody 'll notice if he stands at the back) , Toby Young for the Delia Smith role as Temporary Interim Foundation Time-Share Headteacher Designate and Gove will have the funding cheque in the post before you can say 'overarching vision'. The kids will pass their exams next June and you'll be able to close the school down, pocket the balance and it'll still have lasted almost as long as the average for a Free School. Start working on the zero hours contracts now ...........