These schools belong to all of us
Tomorrow’s public meeting to discuss the Academy proposal for Millthorpe, Scarcroft and Knavesmire is set to be big. The headteachers and governors of all three schools have been turning down invitations to put their case – we think they might be running scared. But dozens upon dozens of parents have said they want to be there to find out more. We think its important that the whole community is represented: through the council, these schools belong to all of us – by giving them to a ‘trust’ they’re being stolen from us!
Hear the arguments against academies on Thursday 30th April
7.15pm at Priory Street Centre, YO1 6ET
Academies mean less say for parents, worse terms for staff and dodgy ‘sponsors’. These companies or charities promise to give the school money in return for privileges including an input in what children will learn. Some have failed to stump up the cash, leaving schools to go bankrupt.
Julie Toyne, UNISON’s Schools Convenor and a speaker from the Anti-Academies Alliance will be explaining the history of academies and why we have to fight. But more importantly, there’ll be discussion on how we can stop this proposal by pushing it to a formal vote of parents. Let’s not let York become another city where local authorities have lost control of every single school.
York People’s Assembly
The campaign by staff and parents in Southbank against the proposed academy is to be welcomed as a means of raising public awareness of the implications of the academies and free schools programme. The Green Party is opposed to academies and free schools which lead to fragmentation of the education system and threaten the quality of teaching by allowing the employment of unqualified staff.
The 2011 Education Act removed from local authorities their powers to build new schools, other than academies or free schools. It would be interesting to know whether the proposal to create an academy federation in Southbank is actually a response to the desperate need for more school places in the area.
It would also be interesting to know whether the council made any efforts to secure land for creating extra school places when granting planning permission for development of the Terry’s site? The Section 106 legal agreement between the council and the developers of the first phase of the housing development requires the developers to make a payment to the council to fund primary school places. But given the lack of space for building additional classrooms at either Knavesmire or Scarcroft School it is difficult to see how such a payment can benefit local families and schools? Surely it would have made more sense to require the developer to allocate a parcel of land opposite Knavesmire School for the construction of an annexe?
It seems as though an opportunity has been missed for Southbank families. But it is imperative that, in future, the need for for school places, or indeed any essential local amenity such as leisure facilities and greenspace, should be incorporated directly within the initial planning permission rather than accepting a payment and deferring decisions to a future time and place.
Meya are a three-piece from Yorkshire who have toured with Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Snow Patrol and Suzi Quatro, and recorded for John Peel’s Radio One show.
They’ve been described as “blistering pop” and will have support from our ownRoss Bennett so come early!
The Basement, City Screen, Coney Street, York YO1 9QL
Friday 17 April, 8:00pm
Come and enjoy the gig to support our election fund and perhaps also purchase Meya’s fundraising single – all profits to The Green Party of England and Wales – entitled ONE BY ONE (CHANGE WILL COME) GREENS ’15 MIX