Prendergast Academy plan sparks protest meeting

On Wednesday, February 25th, 7:30pm-9:00pm at St Mary's Centre, Ladywell Rd, Ladywell there is a meeting for parents, students, teachers and others who oppose the prospect of Prendergast schools becoming academies.

There will be speakers from NUT and Save Hope Park. Click here for details.

17 comments:

Neilgadhok said...

Why on earth would people oppose this? Standards have to be improved dramatically and if this involves the removing of the dead hand of the state then so be it.

James said...

Because the conversion of state schools into academies is basically back door privatisation of the state education system...
http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/michael-gove-ideological-vandalism.html

PeoplesAssemblySEL said...

Good idea to go to the meeting to ask them.

Brockley Nick said...

No it isn't.

James said...

Gove's behind you!!!

PeoplesAssemblySEL said...

"Dead hand of the state" This is Luke Johnson (Mr Pizza Express) in the Telegraph in 2004. What's happening now is a long thought out ideology coming into force.

"It seems to me that the least efficient form of ownership is by the state. When governments and local authorities run things, they are invariably bad at it - especially where there is a monopoly."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/2874981/Chop-off-the-dead-hand-of-the-state.html

Woman of Brockley said...

Standards at the original Prendergast on Hilly Fields are amongst the highest in London already and as far as I can judge the new school down in Lewisham is also doing OK. Having said that, I have no qualms about this particular arrangement. The Leathersellers' Company and the other charities involved in Prendergast governing body have done an excellent job for well over a century.

Brockley Nick said...

No it isn't. See how long this can go on in lieu of a proper argument or evidence?

Neilgadhok said...

As someone with a child soon to go to one of our primaries I'd back anything we can do to free schools of council control - let them carve our their own future. Prendergast seems to be doing well and congratulations on the ambition I say. We've held back revolutionising this sector for way to long and have sacrificed too much of our kids' potential in the process.

terrencetrentderby said...

Indeed, note Tory and personal friend of Cameron Baron Harris of Peckham.

ohyesitis said...

Academies can be run as profit-making entities, by using an official, non-profit-making umbrella sponsor who outsources to profit-making companies. So there is definitely a sense in which academisation is back-door privatisation.

Brockley Nick said...

That is a very different claim to the one originally made by James.

Andrew Brown said...

As a parent of one child at one of the schools under discussion here, and hoping my other will also go to our local school, I thought I'd add some thoughts on the proposals.

I've been a governor of a federation of academies (the Haberdasher Askes' schools) so I get the frustrations that seem to account for the decision that the Prendergast governors have made - it isn't easy to be strategic with a big board and if you're listening to each other you may find it difficult to spend as much time as you'd want on each individual school.

My reading of the papers that have been produced here is that the governors aren't making the case based on any claims that this will improve accademic environment, at least not directly. And that seems sensible to me. The evidence is at best mixed for the wholesale academification of our school system.

But I think there are some significant drawbacks to the solution that they are likely to be consulting on. Firstly, they will need to think very carefully about creating two classes of governor - the strategic central body (with lots of Leathersellers, a few community governors, and one (perhaps) nominated by the local authority) and local school boards where parents are allowed to be part of the mix. I wonder what would happen if there's conflict between those groups - for example over the decision to fire or hire a new headteacher, or if a school board feels it's not getting a fair share of the resources?

Secondly, and more importantly (given the experience at Haberdasher Askes - after my time by the way), does the proposal leave the schools with a board that is just a little too cozy, or at the least too narrow?



Finally, to respond to a couple of points that have been made here: as I understand it the Leatherseller aren't a charity, rather they are a livery company. Also, there are a couple of comments about the 'control' the council exercises - the Leathersellers Federation schools are foundation schools - this means that the role for the local authority is already pretty minimal (they only nominate one governor, for example).


So, while I do understand some of the governors thinking, I hope they will listen hard to the voice of parents, teachers, and pupils, and think again; withdrawing the application to become an academy.

Vicar's Knickers said...

If the NUT is against it, it must be a good thing.

ABH said...

Hi Andrew I circulated this comment to a Prend parents' lobby group - which you may want to be a part of? If so get in touch. Hope you come along to Wednesday's meeting. A

Andrew Brown said...

Thanks, couldn't make the meeting yesterday, but my partner was there.

Also worth looking looking at this document if you haven't seen it.

Lola said...

It is! Go and work in one and you will see!

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