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Labour to put resolution to Redcar and Cleveland Council proposing “Community Campaign” against local school privatisation

Redcar_and_Cleveland_Borough_CouncilThe Labour Group on Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have submitted a resolution, due to be debated at the next full meeting of the Council, calling for a “Community Campaign” partnered by the council against the enforced privatisation of local schools under a new Government measure.   
This comes after the budget announcement by George Osborne, the Chancellor, that he would be piloting a new Bill to turn all Community Schools into free standing “academies”, a programme he saw carrying on until 2020.
The resolution is being moved by Saltburn Councillor Craig Hannaway, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and will be seconded by Guisborough Councillor Shelagh Hoyloake, a teacher herself.
Craig said yesterday (Thursday 5th April 2016) “This is a measure not wanted by schools, head teachers, teaching staff, governors and parent / teacher bodies.    It envisages that those schools still with links to local councils will be forced into accepting so-called “Academy” status.    Despite the educational sounding name “Academies” are simply consortiums of private businesses who wish to manage local schools under Trust status.   We see this as not being in the interests of driving up educational standards or in the interests of teaching staff or our communities who see their local school as belonging to the host community,”
“With all the best will in the world, there is no evidence that placing schools under the control of an often distant commercial company, regulated by a single anonymous civil servant called a “Regional Schools Commissioner” helps to achieve better GCSE’s or fully rounded pupils.  This is compounded by losing experienced and hard working local school governors, often parents of schoolchildren themselves, with a small army of accountants and lawyers with no previous knowledge of the school they will be responsible for.”
Shelagh said “I know from my experience at the chalk face, how important the local council is to the school.  Local Councils do help schools with such things as expert legal and personnel advice, assistance with children with special educational needs, school nursing and curriculum support.  To lose that will mean school teachers and valuable support staff having to take on a legion of often complex and time demanding new tasks, which take them away from what they entered the profession for – which is to teach and nurture our local children.   Schools in Redcar and Cleveland – from our biggest secondary schools to the smallest village primary – have not asked for this expensive bureaucratic transformation, and reject it.     We want to organise a community campaign which the council will partner which says, simply, “hands off our local schools”.    We hope we will get the support of all Redcar and Cleveland Councillors – regardless of party – in this.”

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