GMB call on Childeric School to reconsider move to academy status at public meeting

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GMB and NEU are holding a public meeting on 30th January 2018 in New Cross to step up the campaign for Childeric Primary School to think again about the proposed move to academy status.

The meeting will be held at:

New Cross Learning Centre
283-285 New Cross Rd,
SE14 6AS

The unions, which represent the schools staff, are calling for a rethink on the proposals which could set a dangerous precedent for Lewisham’s schools and raise concerns around staff terms and conditions and the ability of parents to hold the school democratically accountable.

The school has formally notified the unions of its intention to undertake a consultation on proposals to join John Donne and Goose Green schools (both in Southwark) in a multi academy trust called Communitas.

In response to this consultation GMB and NEU will be building a campaign to send a strong message to the school that academisation is not welcome in Lewisham.

Barbara Plant, Education Convenor for the Lewisham GMB Branch said: “It’s unfortunate that the school has decided to make a start on heading down the route of academisation.

“We are specifically concerned with the impact on our member’s terms and conditions – particularly as the other schools in the Trust follow a different pay structure for support staff.

“But more widely we don’t yet understand the rationale behind the decision, Childeric is a good school with strong leadership.

“GMB doesn’t see the logic of diverting resources away from the running of the school to undertake a lengthy consultation on something that the union does not believe will be of benefit to the staff, the children, the parents or the wider community.

“There is no evidence that academies improve children’s education and that has to be the bottom line for making a decision of this nature.”

Duncan Morrison, Assistant Divisional Secretary of Lewisham NEU (NUT) said: “We are extremely disappointed to see that Childeric is seeking to become one of the tiny few primary schools in Lewisham to pull away from the local authority and become an academy.

“The NEU has done extensive research into the impact of academisation on our members’ jobs and the figures don’t look great – with members reporting increases in bullying and a driving down of terms and conditions in academy schools.

“Moreover we believe this sets a dangerous precedent for other Lewisham schools in a borough which has so far resisted the drive to convert schools to academies.

“There is no evidence that academies improve the educational attainment of their pupils, however what academisation does do is remove local accountability from the hands of the parents.

“We’ve all seen the stories of misspent funds, nepotism, privatisation and eye wateringly high management remuneration that have become synonymous with academy schools and quite frankly the people of Lewisham expect better from their school system – and rightly so.”

Contact: Nadine Houghton 07714 239 227 or Barbara Plant 0208 314 3415 or GMB Press Office 07970 114 762