Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/481/2271

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 April 2007

Lewisham

Privilege and privation in our schools

THE DIVIDE between schools is particularly obvious in a big city like London. With so many schools close to each other, there is growing competition to attract the 'best' pupils.

Where the local authority still has control over admissions, some degree of common planning is possible. Some policies operate on nearness to school or agreed catchment areas. Boroughs like Lewisham operate an "area banding" system where pupils are placed into one of five ability bands and each secondary school is then allocated 20% of its intake from each band.

The system ensures a number of genuinely comprehensive community schools still thrive in Lewisham. But it is under increasing pressure from schools that run their own admissions procedures, within and outside the borough.

Two Lewisham schools have started to ignore the banding arrangements, allowing them to skew their intake towards pupils in the higher ability bands. Most notoriously, the privileged Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham Academy has long used its independent control over admissions to attract able pupils from across Lewisham and beyond. In 2006, it admitted just 7% of its pupils from Lewisham's lowest band.

Far from being ostracised for undermining other local secondaries, Aske's was allowed to polarise local admissions even further when it was given control of a second academy, Knight's.

Aske's' empire-building hasn't stopped there. They are bidding to run another academy in Haringey, north London. Lewisham's New Labour council also plans to give their Hatcham academy control of a nearby primary to create a 3-18 school. House prices are reportedly already rising in surrounding streets as families look to secure a place for their youngsters.

But for every 'winner' there will also be losers. Two community schools have been thrown into real difficulties. Unable to attract many children from the highest ability bands, the schools instead fill with pupils with needs that are much harder to meet.

In contrast to Aske's one school admitted only 4% of last September's intake from the highest band, over 40% from the lowest. Many need individual support which the schools simply aren't resourced to provide.

NUT meetings in both schools have been held to seek to organise and defend staff worn down by the challenges of teaching in such difficult circumstances. Inevitably, some teachers are already leaving to go to less stressful schools. But this worsens the polarisation.

These problems will grow across the country unless Labour's market policies are challenged. All schools have to be brought under democratic local control so that a commonly agreed comprehensive admissions policy can be applied right across a locality. At the same time, schools have to be funded to provide the qualified staffing and resources to meet every child's needs.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 5 April 2007:

Children suffer in low pay Britain


Socialist Party editorial

Iran - Sailors fall victim to imperialist policies


Socialist Party news and analysis

Brown's pension robbery

Blair: No solutions to crime or crowded prisons

Waltham Forest protest - more memorable than Prince Charles!

Commemorating the abolition of the slave trade


Socialist Party reviews

One Life: Ricky Tomlinson

In The Line of Fire

Days of Glory


Education

Take national action to defend education

Labour's market policies damage education

Privilege and privation in our schools

NUS leadership abandon fees fight


PCS takes industrial action

London strikers close passport office

PCS members take industrial action

Anger on Newport picket line

Upbeat London rally


Campaign for a New Workers Party

How to stop the BNP: Build a political alternative

Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Ammanford home care workers march

Frustration at demo delay

We shall not be moved!


Asylum

Save Sadiq Abakar

Leicester protesters challenge Home Office


Workplace news and analysis

Trade union leaders heckled over inaction

Action needed as Ford bosses close Leamington plant

Celebs fail to save Burberry

Greenwich: "We've got to strike"

Burslem postal workers strike again


Northern Ireland

British government and local parties retreat on water charges

We Won't Pay Campaign


 

Home   |   The Socialist 5 April 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Schools:

triangleSchools funding crisis fails vulnerable children

triangleFighting NEU leadership needed to tackle school funding crisis

triangleUnion action needed to make schools Covid safe

triangleExam results: grade gap widens

triangleBrighton Socialist Party: Material deprivation and the impact on schools

Lewisham:

triangleBus workers protest Go-Ahead's 'fire and rehire'

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Young and fighting for a future in London

triangleJustice for Blessing Olusegun

triangleISS workers' pay victory

School:

triangleOaks Park strikers call eleven days' more action

triangleOaks Park school: Redbridge Labour council backs strike-breaking bullies

triangleOlympic 'success' masks cuts and inequality

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

23/9/21

Socialist

Socialists and the four-day week

22/9/21

National Education Union

End the teaching workload crisis

22/9/21

NHS

NHS workers reject 3% insult

22/9/21

Disability

W Sussex 'disability tax' - protest not going away

22/9/21

Socialist Students

Socialist Students: Youth lit up when they saw us

22/9/21

Pay

MOJ pay deal accepted - we demand 10%

22/9/21

RMT

New strike dates in EMR guards dispute

22/9/21

Youth Fight for Jobs

Yorkshire Youth Fight for Jobs relaunched

22/9/21

NEU

Oaks Park strikers call eleven days' more action

22/9/21

Evictions

Fighting evictions in Cornwall

22/9/21

Disabled

Leeds taxi drivers and disabled passengers unite to fight station changes

22/9/21

Trans rights

York: Non-binary and trans rights protest

22/9/21

Climate change

Who pays for the climate crisis?

22/9/21

BFAWU

Interview: Bakers' union to vote on Labour disaffiliation

22/9/21

Strike

Workers at 13 colleges to strike over pay

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2021

August 2021

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999