Privatisation

Lewisham Council has been at the forefront of implementing the Government’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) and the Academy programme. These ‘initatives’ are part of a programme of privatisation where the management and ownership of school buildings is to be handed over to private companies. In Lewisham the contract for the build and management of our secondary schools has been given to the VT group.

As part of their move towards backdoor privatisation the Mayor and Council  plan to:

  1. Hand over Monson Primary school to Haberdashers Askes – a selective academy.
  2. Build a new 3-16 years secondary school on the site of Lewisham Bridge primary school and open up the new school to ‘competition’ so that any business can bid to run the school except the Local Authority.
  3. Create a ‘hard federation’ between Prendergast School, Crofton and the new Lewisham Bridge school – handing over the governance of the two schools to Prendergast.

Despite the fact the Lewisham council have launched ‘consulations’ with glossy leaflets explaining why these proposals will benefit the people of Lewisham, they have failed to convince staff, schools and the wider public that “the Council knows best”. Many fear the proposals will damage education.

The Council’s own public meeting at Lewisham Bridge School voiced overwhelming  opposition to the Council’s plans. Fewer than 8% of consultation responses positively endorsed the creation of an all-through school, just as few wanted a federation. Many parents and teachers are deeply suspicious about the motives behind big business wanting to run our schools.

Local parents and teachers also gave a big thumbs-down to the plan to turn Monson primary school into a feeder school for Haberdasher’s Askes Hatcham Academy. Many parents are aware that this decision will only create greater inequality between the local primary schools and are concerned about handing over pubic assetts to the Academy. 

Lewisham councillors have a choice. They could again decide to push ahead with unpopular plans against the wishes of local people. But hasn’t the Mayor already learned over Ladywell Baths that this could damage him – as well as education ?

The Defend Education in Lewisham campaign is calling on the Mayor and Cabinet to choose to take a step back instead.  There are too many unanswered questions – about what an all-through school would look like, how Aske’s’ admissions affects other schools, about the threat of two-tier secondary education in the borough, forecasts for primary school places, why there is no guarantee of no compulsory redundancies … not to mention special school reorganisation as well. 

We say, sit down with parents, staff, unions, council officers to try and agree a way forward – in everyone’s interests

  

5 Responses to “Privatisation”

  1. David Hamilton Says:

    Let me know what I can do to help.

  2. kim bozek./parents forum charlotte turner school in london Says:

    I FEEL THAT WE SHOULD NOW FOCUS ON FEDERATING OUR PRIMARY SCHOOL CHARLOTTE TURNER AS I FEEL THIS IS THE ONLY WAY FORWARD NOW TO STOP THE CLOSURE FROM GOING AHEAD. THE CHILDREN WOULD BENIFIT HIGHLY FROM ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SCHOOLS IDEAS. THE CURRICULEM WOULD BE MORE INTERESTING AND MORE CHALLENGING FOR OUR CHILDREN. IT HAS WORKED FOR TWO SCHOOLS IN THE LEWISHAM BOROUGH SIR FRANCIS DRAKE/DEPTFORD PARK. GREENWICH COUNCIL SAID THEY HAD TRIED THIS BUT IT WAS NOT SUCCESSFUL. HOW DO THEY KNOW IF IT WILL WORK FOR US IF THEY DONT TRY IT. ANYTHING IS BETTER THAN A CLOSURE. AND I BELIEVE WE NEED A 2 YEAR RESCUE PLAN TO GET OUR SCHOOL BACK ON TRACK. WHAT DO YOU THINK. WE HAVE ANOTHER MEETING ON THURSDAY 26TH FEB AT 7PM AT THE WOOLWICH TOWN HALL. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO JOIN US IN OUR CAMPAIGN GET YOUR VOICE HEARD. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS YOURSELF FOR A RESCUE PLAN FOR OUR SCHOOL IF IT WERE TO BE FEDERATED.

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