Milton Keynes foundation Schools seek Academy status - four of them!

Androulla Zucker's picture
They are foundation schools and already own land and buildings, employ teachers. They claim they will have greater freedom about how their budget is used.

There is no visible opposition going on here in Milton Keynes. In fact my daughter's school recently closed it's parent association saying that only it's venture trust will raise funds in future.
That has closed down any door that parents could lobby via.

Will have to field my individual questions via so called consultation process and hope that the Governing body take fright and withdraw from the process.
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Janet Downs's picture
Fri, 11/02/2011 - 09:37

A parent blogger on the Milton Keynes Academy site complained that parents had not been sufficiently consulted about changes to the school day.

The reply was illuminating:

“We do understand that the change to our school day was a big decision which parents have strong views on. We do regret that on this occasion we were unable to consult widely with parents and that notice of the change was short. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to families. Once we were convinced that this change was in the educational interests of the children we decided to act swiftly to put the changes into place. One feature of Academies is that they have the freedom and responsibility to make changes quickly if they are seen as necessary to raise standards.”

This reply highlights the ease with which Academies can make speedy changes without consulting parents by using the excuse of “educational interests of the children”. It seems that Academies alone, not parents or the wider community, decide arbitrarily what is in the educational interest of pupils. Another warning, I think, for parents to be wary of proposed changes of their schools to Academy status.

Sarah Dobbs's picture
Fri, 11/02/2011 - 13:40

Do not worry!
You can do something. I started up a FB page when I heard of a similar plan for my hometown. Within a day I had 80 members of the page. I also contacted the Anti-Academies Alliance and NUT. This was only a week ago! We now have a proper campaign going, including union reps from the schools concerned, non-teaching staff, lots of local media coverage, local councillor support and a meeting with Alasdair Smith from the Anti-Academies Alliance planned for this Wednesday. My four kids have eaten fish fingers and pizza for a week, not done book bags, run out of school clothes and been late in most days, but it has been well worth the effort! Last night I could have cried when one of the union reps told me that the staff at one of the schools concerned were reading the page, even though they did not feel brave enough yet to join the group, and that they really appreciated the articles and links we were posting.
I don't know how it will go over time, but it is an "it happens over my dead body" type of an issue, and at least I know we are fighting.
I have learnt that we have to take the fight to them, because they don't have to take it to us.
And if you are thinking, as I was, that "I would love to join a campaign when someone else starts something", then just start it yourself. It is much quicker!

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