Councillors unite against academy

Andy Newman

Swindon councillors, Andy Harrison (independent Socialist) and David Glaholm (Labour) both from Penhill Ward are taking a united stance and urging all their constituents to vote NO in Swindon Borough Councils consultation for a proposed new Academy.

Speaking out against the academy, Councillor Harrison said the whole academy concept leaves much to be desired. There are major issues with academy schools, from their higher exclusion rates and parental concerns regarding child religious indoctrination to academy selective admission practices and the total loss of any local accountability.

Sponsors gaining unaccountable control of over £25 million pounds worth of public investment without any guarantees that even one child’s education will be significantly improved certainly doesn't sound like the Value For Money that both the government and council insist upon even when investing much smaller amounts of taxpayer’s money.

Academies are still very much an educational experiment and the pupils, parents and whole community deserve better than to have their children's education subjected to such a further hit and miss approach. We must remember that Headland pupils have already had to endure being failed by Swindon's education department and they deserve better than to be used further as academy guinea pigs.

Councillor Glaholm said "I have asked many times for reassurance on how the children from Penhill would be able to safely access the new school but without success.

I feel the children will take the shortest route across fields and parents should seek reassurance their children will not be at risk before supporting the proposal.

Councillor Harrison has arranged a public meeting for 6:30pm on Monday 12th June at the John Moulton Hall, Penhill, so that Penhill ward residents can hear both sides of the arguments before making their minds up on such an important issue.

Both ward councillors are increasingly finding that the promised consultation by the council, which ends on the 16th June, is not only extremely one sided but believe that Penhill ward residents are being deliberately excluded from the consultation process.




June 2006

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