|Last week's picket line|
Staff at The Village Special School, Kingsbury will strike again on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week over plans, led by Brent Labour whip, Cllr Sandra Kabir, who is the school's Chair of Governors, to academise the school.
Over 100 staff staged another 2 days strike on 16th and 17th January and the school was closed to all pupils. The strikers said that they would have called off their strike if Cllr Kabir had agreed to halt the process for just 2 months while alternative models of partnership could be investigated with Brent Council. However the Chair has not agreed to what the strikers called a very reasonable request.
Lesley Gouldbourne (Joint Secretary of the National Education Union) said that Brent Council had expressed its opposition to the academisation of Brent schools and that The Leader of the Council Cllr Butt had said that he wanted The Village “to remain in the family of Brent Schools.” He has agreed to put his view to staff, parents and Governors.
There is a consultation meeting at the school tonight for parents and staff. It is not open to the public.
Some parents have expressed their opposition to academisation and were on the picket line. They have started a Facebook group HERE .
The National Education Union National President Louise Regan attended last week's picket and said that the fight against academies was a national priority for the National Education Union.
Kevin Courtney, the national NEU Joint Secretary, also attended and said that in academies local accountability vanishes. Governing Bodies are replaced with Trustees with no staff, parent or local council representation. “Public voices are silenced and private voices get louder” he said.
Cllr Kabir has circulated her Labour colleagues with the arguments for academisation in the face of opposition from both Brent Central and Brent North Constituency Labour Parties and national Labour Party opposition to academisation.
Please make your views known regarding the Governing Body's proposal on academisation (Consultation closes February 9th) by filling in the questionaire HERE or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: Green Party policy opposes academisation and free schools seeing them as a form of privatisation that removes democratic accountability of schools, worsens staff conditions of service, and enables schools to employ unqualified teachers. Greens favour the integration of academies and free schools into the local authority system with improved accountability and financing.