GMB Supports Protest Against Government’s Plans To Force All State Schools To Become Academies
It’s the staff, the pupils and ultimately society as a whole who will suffer says GMB.
GMB, the union for school support staff, supports demonstrations in Birmingham and Coventry on Wednesday 23rd March 2016 against government plans to force all English state schools to become academies by 2022. (See notes to editors for previous GMB press releases on forced academies).
The events will take place from 5pm on Wednesday 23rd March 2016 at the following addresses:
24-26 High St
Outside Department for Education offices
David Warwick, GMB regional organiser, said "Forcing academy status and dismantling the local education authorities means removing any public scrutiny and democratic accountability to local educational provision.
We can see in Coventry, with the closure of Woodlands Academy, the results of this government’s education policy.
This action is part of a barrage of chaotic decision making without planning or strategic thinking. Schools are becoming competing ' business units,' fighting like rats in a sack for an ever reducing pot of money.
It is the staff, the pupils and ultimately society as a whole who will suffer the most.”
Gill Whittaker, GMB regional organiser, said “The government’s plans for mass academisation roll out are just another example of privatising our children's education through the back door. It's not being done to improve standards in education, but so their mates can make a profit at the expense of our children's future.
This government has not learned its lesson from the 2014 scandal over operation Trojan horse in which the majority of schools affected were academies. By forcing more schools to go down this path Trojan horse will be a tip of the iceberg in years to come.”
Contact: David Warwick on 07957 266751 or Avril Chambers on 07974 251766 or GMB press office on 07970 863411 or 07739 182691
Notes to Editors
Copy of GMB press release dated Friday, March 18, 2016
GMB Slam Government Plan To Convert All Schools To Academies By 2022
This plan will pave the way for trusts to profiteer from our state education system which is funded by the taxpayer says GMB.
GMB commented on the announcement in Chancellor George Osborne’s budget that all primary and secondary schools would be forced to become academies by 2020 or have plans in place to do so by 2022. (See notes to editors for a previous GMB press release about the budget)
Currently, 4,515 schools are academies leaving 15,632 still to convert over the next six years. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said it was clear converting all schools to academies would entail additional costs.
Academies are independently run, state-funded schools receiving their funding directly from the Department for Education, severing the link between local authorities and schools. Instead, oversight for academies is handed to one of only eight Regional School Commissioners across England.
Academies do not follow national pay scales for teachers or support staff and have the option to opt out of the national curriculum.
Avril Chambers, GMB national officer, said "This announcement opens the door to privatisation of our education system. It removes schools from local accountability and democracy thereby removing the freedom of choice for local communities.
Significant powers will be given to unelected civil servants with parents and communities unable to hold them to account. Ultimately, it will pave the way for trusts to profiteer from our state education system which is funded by the taxpayer.
GMB already represents tens of thousands of staff in existing academy schools. We will continue to organise, represent and campaign for the interests of school staff and students as their schools are forced to convert to academies."