Monday 8 January 2018

Academy conversion of The Village School would complete privatisation of special education in Brent

If The Village School were to academise it would be the third Brent special school to take this route. Woodfield converted in April 2014 and Manor formed the Brent Specialist Academy Trust, along with The Avenue special free school, in April 2017.  This would remove all the borough's  specialist special education schools from Brent Council oversight and open the way to them combingin to form a Multi-Academy Trust. The vehicle already exists in the Brent Specialist Academy Trust.

All three schools co-operated in setting up the free school and claimed that the move was supported by Brent Council.

Brent Labour as represented by councillors has never taken a firm stand against academisation or free schools. It claimed the local authority did not have the resources to support Copland High School when it failed Ofsted and supported Ark taking it over as Ark Elvin. Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, is the local authority representative on the Ark Elvin governing body. The authority has supported Ark in opening a new primary 3 form entry free school on the York House site in Wembley.

The stance taken by Brent Central CLP, Brent Central CLP trade union liaison officers and Cllr Jumbo Chan is therefore a significant departure from this policy of acquiescence.

They are not only up against Muhammed Butt but also Cllr Sandra Kabir (Queensbury) who chairs The Village School governing body - the same governing body that wants to convert the school to academy status!  The lobbying of the Labour Group to oppose the position of its own chief whip is rich in irony.  Cllr Mili Patel, lead member for chidlren and families, is relatively inexperienced and does not appear to have made any statement on the issue.

The lobby of the Labour Group which will include NEU officials and staff from The Village School will take place at 6pm this evening in the antrium of Brent Civic Centre.

For the arguments against academies see the Anti Academies Alliance website HERE    The TUC, NASUWT, NUT, ATL, UCU, UNISON, UNITE, GMB, PCS, MU and FBU are affiliated to the Anti Academies Alliance.


Anonymous said...

Labour need to lose seats in the upcoming elections (as a labour member, I have to admit this).

I hope the Greens and Lib Dems can enter into a pact whereby Lib Dems adopt Green policies and Greens back Lib Dem candidates. Butt and his cronies need to be shown the door.

Anonymous said...

You're right, it is in the interest of all Labour members to vote in someone different.