NUT: Forced Academies – Christine Blower speaks at Downhills Primary School Public Meeting

Downhills School is one of the first primary schools in the country to become the victim of the Education Secretary’s determination to force through his academies programme.

Despite opposition from the Governing body, teachers, parents, councillors and the local MP, Michael Gove is pushing ahead with plans for the school to be taken over by an outside sponsor and removed from the local authority family of schools. The Governing body is now taking legal advice to stop these plans.

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, who spoke at the meeting, said:

“Michael Gove is using every trick in the book to force schools into academy status regardless of the wishes of the local community. This has nothing to do with standards, as anyone who looked at the recent Ofsted reports of the school would accept, but everything to do with an Education Secretary determined to end the role of democratically elected local authorities in education and fragment and privatise our schools system.

“There is no consensus among schools, local authorities or communities that Free Schools or academies are the way forward for education. Michael Gove needs to accept this and end his heavy handed, dictatorial and bullying approach to education.”