Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1102/31382
From The Socialist newspaper, 23 September 2020
Sussex: Hands off Peacehaven schools
Bill North, Brighton Socialist Party
Parents in the town of Peacehaven, on the Sussex coast, have relaunched their campaign to save their primary schools from academy privatisation.
Last year, the community campaign won a major victory against the plans of Tory-dominated East Sussex County Council to hand Peacehaven Heights and Telscombe Cliffs schools to an academy trust. Hundreds of parents, children and staff were involved, and the schools' governors voted to reverse the decision.
Rather than accept the views of local people, the council sacked the governing bodies of both schools and replaced them with an unelected 'interim executive board', made up of bureaucrats appointed by the council.
Campaigners have good reason to believe that the schools are - once again - being lined up for privatisation. The local community currently has no say in the running of the schools, major decisions are made without consultation.
Perhaps the most outrageous example was the decision by the Peacehaven Heights board to fill in the school's swimming pool during the summer holidays. This act of vandalism had the backing of the council, which claimed that the pool was an "undue burden on the school's finances" - ignoring the fact that the local community raised £100,000 to ensure that the pool could continue to be used.
The main demands of the relaunched campaign, to ensure Peacehaven schools remain accountable to the local community, are:
- Parents' forum at each school, so parent voices are heard
- The process to set up new, normal governing bodies, accountable to the community to begin immediately
- No irreversible decisions, such as academy conversion, be taken by imposed governors
Donate to the Socialist Party
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 government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- 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.
- When the health crisis subsides, 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.
In The Socialist 23 September 2020:
Tory Covid chaos
North East lockdown: simmering anger at Tory incompetence
Testing shambles: unions must fight back
Johnson's schools social-distancing lie
Dispatches from the front - chaotic schools are not safe!
A day in the life of a salon worker
Workplace news in brief
'FinCEN Files' expose rampant financial corruption: nationalise the banks!
Extend eviction ban! Cap rents! Build council homes!
News in brief
Covid and the campuses
Why I joined
Why we joined the Socialist Party
Fund NHS and pay rise now
Coventry: Socialist Students is back
Liverpool Council must save care homes
Sussex: Hands off Peacehaven schools
Fighting fund: One week to raise £3,444
The Socialist: More than a newspaper
Thailand: Youth rising against hated junta
TV: The English Game - how the working class made football the people's game
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 23 September 2020 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook
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: 079 3539 1947
West Mids: 024 7655 5620
Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041