Ghana education unions say NO to privatisation

News from NEU HQ:

Education unions in Ghana have spoken out against the Ghanaian governments attempts to privatise and commercialise the public education sector. This comes after the announcement of the pilot ‘Ghana Partnership Schools’ programme, described by the unions as ‘a subtle and potential privatisation, commercialisation and commodification of public education in Ghana with the approval of the government.’ Read more on Education International’s website.

See also:

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Privatisation Update

This month’s Privatisation Update provides all the latest news on academies, free schools and privatisation. This month’s stories include:

  • The National Education Union has welcomed the Labour Party’s plans to reverse the free market reforms of education introduced under the Coalition and Conservative Governments.
  • Over two-thirds of the largest academy trusts have schools that use some form of isolation for their pupils – including for children aged just five and six.
  • 44 free school projects were cancelled before they even opened between 2013-14 and 2016-17, at a cost to the taxpayer of £8.7 million. They include two London primaries that were proposed by a trust founded by the health minister Lord James O’Shaughnessy.

Privatisation Update 78
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Archive of “Privatisation Update” available on the NEU News webpage on this site.

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Forced academisation no longer inevitable

Forced academisation no longer inevitable – new advice published
An advice note setting out significant developments relating to the Government’s academies agenda has been published on the NEU (NUT Section) website .

Along with a mounting body of evidence undermining the case for academy status, these developments provide further arguments for resisting forced academisation. Please read and share with local reps.

NEU Advice Note on Academisation
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EPI Report: “local authorities should be able to take over schools which are in struggling academy trusts”

Press release from NEU:

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EPI on School Performance in Academy Chains and Local Authorities

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, has commented on the latest report by the Education Policy Institute.
“Without doubt the most significant aspect of this report is its recommendation that local authorities should be able to take over schools which are in struggling academy trusts. This is simple common sense and would be welcomed by many communities who have seen their local schools taken over by unaccountable and negligent academy chains. Indeed it’s a demand that has already been made, many times. Notably in the case of the collapse of the Wakefield City Academies Trust where parents were forced to watch in dismay as their schools were then transferred to another set of unaccountable academy trusts without proper consultation or consideration for the needs and priorities of the community.

“This report is also the final nail in the coffin of the idea that coercing schools into academy status has been worth it, either financially or in terms of improving outcomes. It is worth remembering the huge sums that have been spent on the programme – £745 million on converting maintained schools to academies since 2010-11 according to the NAO. This is not to mention the vastly inflated salaries of academy CEOs and the numerous financial scandals the programme has engendered.

“It’s now time for a proper debate on what we want from our schools system. The academies programme has not delivered on its promised outcomes. But it has also produced a fractured and incoherent schools system in which the voices of parents, pupils and staff are diminished.”


Academies – NEU June Privatisation Update

Some crucial developments are reported in the latest edition of Privatisation Update including news on three key anti-academy campaigns. Government has made a major U-turn on ‘coasting’ schools and academisation and three schools have already reversed their decision to form a MAT citing this development. Also covered are two important recent reports: one finding that academies in MATs have fewer freedoms and a second showing that the free schools programme has failed to deliver on its promises.

Privatisation Update 75
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Previous issues always available on this website’s NEU News Page

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Anti-Academies Blog

Warwick Mansell’s Blog (NEU)

Latest post:
The academies policy is flagrantly anti-democratic
The seven “anti-democratic essentials” of the academies model are set out in Warwick Mansell’s latest blog. Read and share this clear and comprehensive analysis of the ways in which academies keep parents, pupils, and school staff “on the outside”.

NEU Statement, 8 May 2018: Avenue School (Newham) Governors Withdraw Their Plans To Convert To Academy Status


The Governing Body of Avenue Primary School has confirmed that, at its meeting last Thursday, it took a decision NOT to move forward with plans to convert the school to academy status.

Martin Powell-Davies, London Regional Secretary, who spoke to the Governors’ meeting, said:

“Staff and parents will be delighted to hear that, after a campaign that included nineteen days of strike action to oppose academy transfer, members of the National Education Union can now end their strikes, knowing that Avenue Primary is going to remain a community school.

The NEU would like to thank Avenue Governors for reaching this decision and all in the school community who took part in the vibrant campaign to oppose Avenue becoming an academy.

The lively rallies on the school gates on strike days, always supported by dozens of local parents, left Governors in no doubt that the campaign showed no signs of weakening. The determination and unity across the school community shown at Avenue School over the last six months of action will be an inspiration to other campaigns organising to stop academisation in their schools.

Unity was forged around the demand for a binding ballot of staff and parents to decide on academy transfer. The NEU offered to halt its strikes if such a ballot was agreed and proposed that meetings were held, and information circulated in community languages, so that parents could fully participate in deciding on the future of their school. Those demands should now be taken up by parents & staff of other schools to ensure genuine consultation over academisation.

Governors at Avenue must have known that the mounting evidence exposing academisation would mean a genuine debate could only reach one conclusion – to oppose transfer – and simply decided to withdraw their plans altogether. The energy and unity shown by both staff and parents in the campaign can now help Avenue School to further support children’s education. If there is any future attempt to revisit academisation, then the opposition will be even stronger!

The National Education Union made clear that we opposed academisation at Avenue because it would damage education and transfer the School to an unaccountable Multi Academy Trust. As a community school, parents will continue to be able to call on an elected Council for support.

The Avenue campaign helped convince Newham councillors when they voted in February to oppose academisation and to support the call for staff and parental ballots. The NEU looks forward to working with Newham’s newly elected Mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, in developing plans to support Newham schools, including through developing partnership arrangements that avoid the unnecessary educational risk and fragmentation that academisation inflicts on local schooling.

The NEU congratulates its members on their successful action. Their campaign, alongside others being organised across London, is turning the tide of public opinion against academisation.”

London Regional Secretary

National Education Union, NUT Section
Christine Blower Centre
90 Point Pleasant
London SW18 1PP
Tel: 020 8477 1234

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NEU Statement
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Opposing Academisation – Warwick Mansell’s Blog

The Seven Deadly Sins of a Marketised Education System

Warwick Mansell’s latest blog offers a brilliant summary of the main reasons to resist the expansion of the academy programme. In it he sets out the seven fundamental problems inherent in trying to force a public education system to function like a market. Please read and share widely.

NEU Officers’ eBulletin

Opposing Academies In Newham – story so far

Victories against academisation in Newham
NEU members and parents campaigning to stop a
Newham primary school from becoming an academy
have achieved a historic victory. It seemed that
governors at Keir Hardie Primary School would vote
for conversion on 19 April but, in the last week of
term before Easter, parents were sent a letter saying
that the governing body would not proceed with
academisation. The decision came after a series of
strikes by NEU members and strong and united
opposition from parents. During the strikes
previously non-union support staff and supply
teachers joined the NEU and membership tripled. Continue reading Opposing Academies In Newham – story so far

Academy heads are sceptical about academy freedoms

Message from Kevin Courtney:

On Thursday 19/04/2018, polling by the Sutton Trust revealed that academy heads are sceptical about academy freedoms. I described this as yet another devastating blow to the Government’s academy programme. The polling confirms that schools in England are being starved of cash and that academy status does not bring the benefits that Government claims. You can read our full statement here.

(Officers eBulletin 20/04/2018)