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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 January 2011

Tidemill school - victory for parents

ONE OF the flagship academies planned was Tidemill Primary School in Deptford in south London. Head master Mark Elms, who achieved widespread media attention when he became Britain's highest-paid 'superhead', has been trying to turn Tidemill into an academy.

But on 18 January, the school governors withdrew their application for academy status, despite voting to go ahead by eight votes to five only the previous month. Parents, teachers and local residents led by Leila Galloway, the mother of two Tidemill pupils, have been running a campaign against these plans (see The Socialist 642).

Campaigners opposed academy status for many reasons. The campaign's solicitors reported that the school failed to comply with its public sector equality duties - the need to promote race, gender and disability equality and tackle discrimination. They had also decided on a misunderstanding as to the basis on which parental views had been obtained.

Their hard work has unearthed that, apart from the flaws in the basic arguments for academies, there were serious flaws and miscalculations in their figures. Elms and the pro-academy faction seem to have been most worried by the solicitors' allegations that they "considered misleading and/or incorrect financial information."

For example, the school estimated that it would cost them 60,000 to pay for additional services previously provided by the local education authority (Lewisham council). The Department for Education estimates the cost at 78,000 while Lewisham estimates the figure to be over 229,000.

So the governors at Tidemill, probably fearing being subjected to a judicial review, withdrew their application.

Leila Galloway believes Elms may well try to present the application again at some stage. But along with local campaigners, she sees Tidemill governors' withdrawal as a victory for parents and local residents. The Deptford Says No campaign will keep fighting to stop this planned academy.

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In The Socialist 26 January 2011:


Socialist Party youth and students

Fight for jobs and education

Where next for the student movement?

Education Maintenance Allowance days of action 18 and 19 January

No to sky-high youth unemployment!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Warning: Government health 'reforms' can seriously damage your health

Phone hacking and media spin - the murky world of Andy Coulson

Food price hikes fuelling unrest

Fight the Con-Dem 'bosses' charter'

RMT leader slams anti-union laws

Marching against council cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

Hampshire: Battling to defend jobs

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National Shop Stewards Network

NSSN anti-cuts campaign launched

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) conference


International socialist news and analysis

Irish government collapses: United Left Alliance offers real alternative

Tunisia: Protesters demand real democracy and social change

50 years ago: Congo's independence leader assassinated


Socialist Party schools features

Tidemill school - victory for parents

Save Our Schools

Bankers' "Free school" excludes poorer pupils


Socialist Party review

Britain's Banks: Too Big to Save?


Comment

Three decades of 'reform' and 'flexibility'

Stop the mental health service cuts


 

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