Friday 9 February 2018

Brent Labour Council backs anti-academisation stand at the Village School

Key speeches from last night's Public Meeting about academisation

Press release from the National Education Union

Yesterday evening (8th February 2018) a packed conference hall at Brent Civic Centre with parents, staff, and local residents listened to a range of contributions in a meeting hosted by Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent North. He was questioning the proposal to turn The Village school in Kingsbury into a Multi Academy Trust (MAT). Mr Gardiner clearly was extremely concerned that there was a complete lack of detail in this proposal and could see no reason why Governors should agree. 
There were no benefits for the school to go down this route yet many reasons raised by the audience as to why it should not. The audience was shocked that no one from the school who is backing this proposal was present – apologies had been received from the Headteacher Kay Charles, the Chair of Governors Cllr Sandra Kabir and Gail Tolley, Strategic Director Children and Families. 

During the meeting, Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of the Council stated, The academisation of any of our schools is the wrong process. … We want all our schools to remain within the (LA) family of schools. … How much clearer do I need to be I am on your side? which was greeted by loud applause. Other Cabinet members and Councillors also made it clear that the Labour run Council were against the proposed academy. 

Cllr Jumbo Chan, who has been in full support of the campaign to stop the MAT since the start said after the meeting,
I would like to thank Barry Gardiner and his office for organising tonights very useful, well-attended meeting at the Brent Civic Centre.

In addition to the many probing, productive questions put forward by members of the community, it was extremely encouraging to hear the council leader and cabinet members express plainly their absolute support for The Village Schools outstanding teachers and support staff, and their complete opposition to the unnecessary academisation of the school.

It would be a very positive step if parents, staff and other concerned stakeholders of The Village School can now be reassured through a public statement by all members of the cabinet reiterating their stances”.
Members from Woodfield school which is already an academy and would join The Village as a MAT if this proposal goes ahead, spoke out about the fact that there was already lots of collaboration between the two schools across a wide range of services and subjects so why change. Staff had different contracts at Woodfield and worse conditions since becoming an academy. 

There was a call from a local resident and Labour Party member for Cllr Sandra Kabir, Chair of Governors at The Village and Brent Labour Group Chief Whip, to either resign or agree with her fellow Labour Councillors and speak out against the academisation of the school. This was greeted by loud cheers. 

Finally, Mr Gardiner called on the Governors meeting on 28th February where the decision is to be made to be open to the public to attend. He said that as the school is currently a maintained community school an open democratic meeting was essential.

1 comment:

Alison Hopkins said...

Governors meetings ought always to be open to the public. Ours are.

I've emailed Cllrs Chan, Butt et al about another very worrying school situation. That was over a week ago. They have not replied.

As to Tolley, she never answers any emails no matter who sends them.