Tuesday 18 December 2018

NEU plea to Brent's Labour leader: 'Please, please Muhammed, can you respond to us' on academisation

Cllr Butt maintaining silence
The President of Brent National Education Union and The Village School NEU representatives have written to the borough's Labour councillors and their leader, Cllr Muhammed Butt, asking for a response to their communications about the academisation of The Village School, in Kingsbury and alleged financial irregularities.

Brent North MP and Labour Shadow Minister, has written to government ministers about the NEU's concerns over the financial background to The Village's academisation move. The NEU had sent Butt and his fellow councillors the Brent NEU resolution on the issue, the resolution from The Village School NEU and the Brent Constituency Labour Party  motion of support and requested a meeting.

Butt has not responded.

The NEU write:
We attach for your information the letter from Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent North. We commend his continued commitment for The Village school and his support and actions to keep the school within the local authority.  Barry wrote to the Government Minister, despite the fact that he is obviously really busy in Parliament particularly with his role as Shadow Minister, and has written on more than one occasion to the Chair of Governors and the Headteacher of The Village over this time when the staff and community are campaigning to stop the academisation of the school. As you can see he references being contacted by Hank (President of Brent NEU).

We are therefore very disappointed that, despite reminders including copying you all in, both our letter and resolution from Brent NEU, the resolution from the Village NEU members and a request to meet, and the resolution passed at the Brent Central LP meeting, all asking for Cllr Muhammed Butt to act with regards to The Village or even just to respond to our communications, we have heard nothing.  Anything you can do to make this happen would be much appreciated.

Please, please Muhammed can you respond to us?
The Kilburn Times reports this week LINK that  the Executive headteacher of The Village has given a provisional date for academisation as February 2019 but quotes her as saying this is subject  to confirmation next term. According to the NEU academisation was delayed by an Education Funding Agency investigation into the accounts of Woodfield School which was to partner The Village in a multi-academy trust. LINK

Despite recent changes in Labour Party policy pledging to oppose any further academisation Cllr Butt appears to continue to support academy schools. He pushed for the academisation of Copland High School and sat on the successor Ark Elvin governing body. He has supported the extension  of Ark's empire in Brent through the new Ark Somerville Primary School which will be built in the car park of York House, near Wembley Stadium, next to a poor air quality main road. He removed a Labour councillor who had opposed planning permission for the school from the council's Planning Committee. LINK

Despite this and the Brent Central CLP's support for the staff's fight against academisation, Cllr Butt has remained unmoved and has supported the Labour Chief Whip, chair of governors at the school, who was a major force behind the acadmeisation bid.

Cllr Jumbo Chan, (Labour) himself a teacher in a neighbouring borough, in contrast has been vociferous in his support for the NEU and Labour Party position on academisation. In February, before the local elections,  many of his Labour councillor colleagues signed a letter oppoasing academisation and this was followed by another joint letter by the newly elected Labour councillors to the Kilburn Times in June. LINK

Barry Gardiner's letter to  Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System: (Click on bottom right corner to enlarge):


Anonymous said...

Mo must be too busy, posing for all those photos of him in the Brent Magazine!!!

Anonymous said...

What does it tell you about a so-called Leader when he won't explain why he is not sticking up for his own party's policies?