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On Tuesday a positive and well-attended lobby of the full Council meeting took place outside Birmingham Council House by parents, staff and supporters of Small Heath School in opposition to any plan to change the school into an academy

A delegation of parents spoke to Local Councillors Tahir Ali and Yvonne Mosquito about their concerns during a break of the full council meeting. Both Councillors were supportive and accepted a petition of more than 800 signatures against academisation collected by parents over the summer. Parents stand to lose important legal protections and local accountability if Small Heath School becomes an academy.

The Parents of Small Heath campaign group (POSH) held two large public meetings before the summer break. Parents are angry that plans to convert their school to an academy are being made behind closed doors without any consultation and with apparent disregard for their views. POSH has welcomed support for the school as it works to get out of Special Measures, but they do not wish this support to involve becoming a sponsored academy. Academy conversion is just as strongly opposed by staff who have held two strikes with support from parents on the picket line. Unions representing the staff are currently discussing the date for a third strike.

Earlier this year an Education Select Committee report recognised that there is no evidence that academy conversion results in school improvement, stating that “academisation is not always successful nor is it the only proven alternative for a struggling school.” Furthermore analysis by Henry Stewart of the Local Schools Network has shown that sponsored academies actually perform worse than similar non academies.

BCASE calls on Birmingham City Council and the IEB to recognise the strength of feeling and accept that there is no appetite whatsoever for academisation among the parents, the staff or the wider community of Small Heath School. There can be no justification for imposing a change that removes parents’ and pupils’ legal protections, their recourse to local accountability, that damages staff pay and conditions, that is opposed by the school community and that could actually slow the school’s recovery from Special Measures.

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3 thoughts on “Parents and staff lobby council against against academy plans for Small Heath School

  1. Reblogged this on askparentsfirst and commented:

    Ask Parents First are hugely concerned that Birmingham City Council officers are STILL riding roughshod over school communities, making deals with the DfE behind closed doors with no consultation and minimal communication with the parents, pupils and community to whom this school actually belongs. In behaving this way the Council is ignoring the recommendations of its own Education Scrutiny Team who stated in their report ‘Strengthening the Birmingham Family of Schools’ that “Elected Members, in fulfilling our role as champions of pupils, parents and local communities, should expect that the City Council supports schools to consult fairly and effectively not least to protect vital community relationships”. The report went on to make a number of recommendations to the Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services including that it “publicises that there is a clear expectation from the City Council that governing bodies considering academy conversion, whether voluntarily or under the instruction of the Department for Education, conduct open and democratic consultation while matters are still at a formative stage.”

  2. Pingback: Third strike at Small Heath School against academy conversion | Birmingham Campaign For State Education

  3. Pingback: Birmingham City Council must stop colluding with the DfE on forced academies. | Ask Parents First

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