Sarah Dobbs's picture
"I bring good tidings for all those hard working campaigners up and down the land fighting the academies programme.

We have had the most extra-ordinary result in our campaign in Louth, which can be attributed directly to the strength of the governing bodies. We have four schools looking to merge into one new academy. We also have a county council who have just endorsed a policy to state that ALL schools should convert to academy status with CfBT.

So any good news is most welcome at the moment.

On 8th September, the governing bodies of two of our schools met (they are currently in a hard federation). It was recommended to them that they undergo a local authority reorganisation of schools, with the new governing body making any future decision on academy status. The resolution that they passed states "it was unanimously agreed that the preferred option is to merge Monks' Dyke Technology College, Tennyson High School, Cordeaux School and Wolds College into a single entity maintained by the Local Authority."

Two versions of the same result then appeared. Version 1 was from one of the heads and one of the chairs of governors. It stated that the schools had voted to go into a LA reorganisation one end, and out the other as an academy. Version 2 was from staff and governors , who were emphatic in telling me that they had expressed a preference to remain in the local authority. They felt that they had been duped.

A statement was prepared, which contained a strong emphasis on eventual academy conversion. But the governors were not having it. They were strong and vociferous, and succeeded in getting the statement re-written, with the precise version of the resolution included. This was the unanimously endorsed by the second governing body.

Funnily enough, the schools have not issued a press release on this decision, which I will do for them today, as I mean to be helpful!

For those of you running campaigns right now - please look after your governors and teachers. If you give them the time and space to off load the stresses that they feel about the conversion, they will pay you back 100%. One of the best moves I have made in the Louth campaign was to start holding private meetings just for staff and governors. It has led to a real empowerment of the governors, and provided a forum where all can air views and develop clear tactics."

Long live the stake-holder governance model that Gove is trying to smash.

And if we can bring about this type of result in Lincolnshire at the moment, it can happen anywhere. For anyone else reading this in Lincolnshire, PLEASE CONTACT ME ASAP. We need a coordinated and strong campaign, and I am more than willing to help.
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Janet Downs's picture
Fri, 23/09/2011 - 16:10

Congratulations, Sarah, to you and all the others in Louth who fought for this. And congratulations to the governors and staff for standing firm.

Mel Kelly's picture
Sun, 02/10/2011 - 14:12

Hi Sarah

There was an article printed in the Guardian this week which stated hedge fund boss Stanley Fink is one of the Tories biggest donators.

Last year Stanley Fink's "education company", Ark Schools, underspent 7.5% of the education budget for the 8 schools he controls and they are investing the money in the Caymen Islands instead (money that was meant to be spent on children's education) -

David Cameron was so impressed with Stanley Fink's donations to the Tory Party and his underspending of your children's education money he rewarded Stanley Fink with a place in the house of lords this year as a new conservative peer and also rewarded him further by giving Stanley Fink our taxes to set up 2 free schools - giving him access to more education money to funnel into the Cayman islands

And he's not the only Tory member of the House of Lords cashing in on England's education budget -

The Tories are getting together with many investment bankers to set up cartels to take control of England's annual £35 billion schools budget

This is not about education but about taking money for education out of democratic control and handing it straight to investment bankers and unelected members of the house of lords (who donate to the Tory Party) instead to control

So the biggest contributers to the Tory Party are investment bankers and now Tory Members of the House of Lords, Tory MPs and Tory Councillors all over England are rewarding their investment bankers backers by giving them places in the House of Lords and control of £35billion meant to educate English Children

They have had 13 years to plan this and remember this legislation was passed with such haste there was no time to scrutinise or debate the changes properly

Even the Church of England have stated it is now clear these cartels are taking powers from school governors and they are to control schools not the governors

No wonder - who in England would have accepted investment bankers taking control of £35billion each year meant to educate children in England

They've already caused the deficit that we are paying for and now they want to gamble with our children's education money!

It is now becoming clear that is what the education reforms were really all about.

CBfT spend a third more on consultancy last year than they did on educating children! So why on earth are Lincolnshire council recommending they take control of your local schools

Why - because that's the way the Tory party want to undermine democracy - just in case we don't vote for them they have found a way to ensure it doesn't matter if we don't vote for them - because t

Tony's picture
Tue, 25/10/2011 - 15:23


Why are you not in favour of academies?

Mel Kelly's picture
Tue, 25/10/2011 - 23:13

Tony, in 2010 Ark Schools controlled 8 academies - and they underspent the budget for the 8 academies by 7.5%.

They state their policy is to invest underspends. They invest 60% of their funds in the Cayman islands and use Ark's own stockbrokers company to advise the Cayman Island ARK company

Now only today it has been reported official government spending on education has experienced the fastest fall for 50 years.

So how can ARK justify underspending a frugal budget by 7.5% for 8 schools.

Education budgets are not given to be invested in the Cayman islands but to educate English Children

And the fact ARK and all these other global companies are stripping governors of their powers

For me - that is 2 very very good reasons why I am against academies

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