No trust in Trusts!

Over 60 people turned up to the meeting at Goldsmiths Student Union to  support the campaign to prevent the proposed Goldsmiths Trust undermining locally accountable community schooling in Lewisham. Unlike the Council’s thinly attended ‘drop-in’, parents, teachers, support staff, councillors, lecturers and students attended our meeting last night. The turnout and range of people involved showed the potential strength of our opposition – opposition which we now need to mobilise in all the ways we discussed last night. These included:

  • Responding to the ‘consultation’ – getting initial responses back by July 20th
  • Lobbying governors – as the individuals who can take the decision to stop the Trust, by letter, personal contact etc.
  • Leafleting parents – I plan to draw up a 2-side leaflet. We will be leafleting outside Addeys and Standhope school on Monday 6 july at 3.15pm – please lend your support.
  • We also want to organise leafleting at Deptford Green and Crossways – please let us know if you are available.
  • Protest meeting – we need to confirm time and venue for a well-publicised public meeting next term.
  • Strike action – union members need to discuss now with their colleagues about the need to organise action.

These plans – and any other ideas – will be confirmed at the next:  

Campaign committee on Wednesday 8 July,  4pm, Room 141, Ground Floor, Goldsmiths (near the main entrance).

 Martin Powell-Davies

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Lobby Lewisham Council – Wednesday 20 May

Parents march through Lewisham on 9 May 2009

Parents march through Lewisham on 9 May 2009

Hands off Lewisham Bridge is calling a lobby of the Council Meeting on Wednesday 20 May to demand  a halt to the proposed demolition of the school and to stop the decant and bring back our children to Elmira Street until the planning issues have been addressed.  
Socialist Party Councillors who are supporting our campaign have put a motion to the Council.

Come and lobby councillors for their support of this motion. Meet at 6pm Cornmill Gardens if you need a lift to the Town Hall. Let us know if you need a lift or if you can provide a car.

If you wish to go straight to the Town Hall the lobby will be from 6.30pm onwards.

Town Hall, Catford.

Tel: 07946 541 331

PUBLIC SERVICES, NOT PRIVATE PROFIT

CAMPAIGN PLANNING MEETING on
MONDAY, OCTOBER 6th 2008, 7.30 pm in the upstairs room
GOOSE on the GREEN PUB, RUSHEY GREEN, CATFORD
 
 

Across the borough and beyond, campaigners and trade unionists are having to confront continuing attacks on both our public services and on our living standards.  In Lewisham:

  • The Council is determined to break-up local Authority schooling with Academies and Trusts
  •  Health services face cuts and privatisation through “A Picture of Health”.
  •  Local Authority housing is being given over to ALMOs and Housing Associations.

 

Meanwhile, while billions are found to bailout the banks, workers are being told that they have to put up with year-after-year of below-inflation pay awards.

But trade unions and communities are beginning to say ‘enough is enough’. The NUT is balloting its members for national strike action to oppose pay cuts. Housing and health campaigners have been organising to defend our services. The Defend Education in Lewisham Campaign is challenging the Council’s damaging proposals.

 

That’s why the NUT, together with Defend Education, have agreed to hold a public meeting later this year to explain what is at stake and how we can fight the attacks. From this initiative, we hope to build a united campaign to defend our services.

 

Campaign Meeting

The next campaign meeting is on

Tuesday 23rd September

7.30pm

Upstairs at The Goose on The Green (opp. The Broadway Theatre, Catford)

All welcome!

HABERDASHERS/MONSON MERGER – PUBLIC MEETING 1ST APRIL

HABERDASHERS ASKES / MONSON MERGER

NOT A DONE DEAL!

 Public Meeting  

Tuesday, 1st April 2008, 7-8pm

St James Church Hall

Saint James  SE14 6AD

(opp Iceland, New Cross Road)

The Campaign against the merger has been continuing to challenge Lewisham’s divisive proposal. 

Joan Ruddock MP has taken our concerns to the Secretary of State and the Academies Minister – and the merger is now being reviewed at the highest level.

 The final outcome is not guaranteed – Secretary of State, Ed Balls has yet to approve Lewisham’s widely opposed decision.  

Come and share your views, hear the latest developments and find out how you can still make a difference. 

 Speakers:   

  •  Fiona Millar, Leading Education Journalist The Guardian
  • Joan Ruddock MP
  • Martin Powell-Davies, Lewisham NUT
  • plus Local Campaign Spokesperson 

Creche facilities will be provided  

Stop the Privatisation of Education!

Demonstrate and lobby the Mayor and Cabinet @ Lewisham Town Hall

Wednesday 13 February, 5.15pm

Local parents have serious concerns about the proposal to give Monson Primary School to Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College and the consultation process that the Council have used.

Did you know?

The Mayor is going to make his decision on 13th February. Lewisham is basing its decision which will affect hundreds of children – on only 331 written consultation responses. The take over will mean Monson will pass out of local authority control to a body that is not accountable – even under the Freedom of Information Act. The Council also plans to give away control of both the new secondary school and the new special school as well.

The impact on Monson

Lewisham claims the merger will benefit this under performing school in a socially deprived area citing High Mobility. Other Lewisham schools such as John Stainer have experienced greater mobility problems and these have successfully been addressed by the schools themselves. Why can’t their positive approach be examined and applied at Monson?

If the local authority’s response to difficulties is to off load struggling schools to publically unaccountable bodies what will happen to the next school that begins to suffer?

Making Aske’s a local school

Askes is an unaccountable body, and the local authority has no power over the institution. It is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Should Monson be taken over by Askes it too will become unaccountable to local parents. Askes has no record of working with primary schools and neither can it demonstrate academic success with the demographic represented at Monson. Aske’s has never achieved the ‘value added’ record of schools such as Deptford Green.

The proposal claims that Askes will become a more ‘local’ school. Parents have clamoured for years for Askes to take more local children. This could be achieved by working with ALL the primary schools local to Aske’s and in order to ensure a more balanced social mix it could calculateits catchment area from the lower site and/or abandon its separate banding policy. This would ensure fairness for ALL local children.

Consultation concerns

Lewisham allowed only 6 weeks for this final consultation – since 2000 the Government has recommended a minimum 12 weeks for consultations. Lewisham identified five local schools – Childeric, Edmund Waller, Kender,Lucas Vale and St James Hatcham -as the most affected by this proposal leaving out John Stainer and Myatt Garden. Having identified these schools they were given little chance to voice their views. Parents at the five identified schools were simply informed that a leaflet would be sent in the next edition of ‘Lewisham Life’.

Lewisham Council are aware that many local parents report never having received this edition or this leaflet. Lewisham Council claims it randomly selected 350 local primary parents to attend focus groups and that invitations were also sent to pre-school parents in the area of Askes. No parents attended. At least two local parents specifically requested inclusion but their requests were turned down as Lewisham Council didn’t want ‘too many people’ and they were to be randomly selected.

Every voice now counts

Unless Lewisham accepts that this consultation process has been inadequate and unfair it will be basing a decision which will affect hundreds of children on only 331 responses.

  • Join in our unoffical ballot at school gates.
  • Stop the take over of Monson by HAHC.
  • Let the Council know you are opposed to their plan to sell off our schools.
  • Join the campaign to Defend Education in Lewisham.

Download leaflet for the Lobby

Lobby the Council 23rd January

lewisham-demo.jpgThe Monson Haberdashers Askes Consultation closed 13th December. The report will be submitted to the Mayor and Cabinet on 30th January. However before then there is a full council meeting on 23rd January at which the Socialist Party councillors have submitted the following motion:

Motion for Lewisham council for a parents’ ballot on the Monson-Aske’s proposal

 

This council believes that the controversial proposal to hand over Monson primary school to Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College secondary Academy is exactly the type of issue where the principles of ‘participatory democracy’ and ‘democratic control of community assets’ (outlined in last year’s government Governance of Britain paper and the Quirk review of community ownership of assets) should apply.

 

In that light, we call on the mayor to organise a single-question parents’ ballot on the proposal before a final decision is taken on whether to proceed.  This ballot should be of the parents of pupils in all Lewisham primary school classes within the same ‘distance to school’ radius as Monson is to Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College namely, Edmund Waller, John Stainer, St James Hatcham, Myatt Garden, Kender, Childeric, Turnham, St Mary Magdalene, Lucas Vale, Ashmead and Monson.

Join us at the lobby of the council on 23rd January to support the Councillors’ motion and to show the Mayor our opposition to this dangerous proposal. We will keep you posted with further details.

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