Wednesday 23 March / 5 p.m. / Shire Hall, Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AP
The Cambridgeshire National Union of Teachers (NUT) association has called a protest, Hands Off Our Schools, against the government's new policy that all schools in England must become academies. Cambridgeshire NUT points out that there's no evidence academy schools perform better than those under local authority control. It argues that 'the extension of academies has more to do with the desire of the government to make schools into businesses than with improving education.'
The same reason lies behind the two other main proposals in last week's white paper Education Excellence Everywhere: that teachers no longer need to be qualified, and that parent governors are no longer needed on school governing bodies. To remove parent governors, says the union, is to sever 'one of the last remaining links between a school and its local community'.
Academies have no local accountability: they are responsible to the Department for Education. How is the DfE going to oversee 20,000 schools? How are parents' concerns or complaints about their school going to be addressed by the DfE?
We fully support Cambridgeshire NUT's protest.