English 'Academy' bars Child with Special Needs

Protesters at Downhills School

There are more strikes coming up against the academy programme in England

The so-called academies mean that schools are taken out of local democratic control and put in the hands of private individuals, faith groups or education entrepreneurs. Stories against these schools over the last week have included one that shows that nine out of ten academies are serving children junk food, since they don't have to apply the same nutritional standards as other state schools. The food campaigner Jamie Oliver said of the politicians who are complicit in this (of whom the Education Secretary Michael Gove is one): "you can safely assume that they don't care about the wellbeing of our children and the future of our country".

In another story, this website learned that Mossbourne academy - one of the first and most presitigious academies in the programme - is being taken to court by the parents of a boy with cerebral palsy because it refused to accept him on the grounds that his presence "would be incompatible with the efficient education of other children in the school". This is not an isolated case and as with nutrition standards, reflects the fact that academies do not have to apply the same regulations as other schools - in this case on admissions.

Gove is forcing the academmies programme on schools, but many communities are fighting back, Downhills school staff are striking on Tuesday 22nd May and have voted unanimously for discontinuous strike action - they are being supported by parents who have organised a picnic in the park to support them. Messages of support can be sent to: philbrett@msn.com Teachers at Kingsthorpe College will be striking on Wednesday 23rd May. Messages of support can be sent to: garygray61@hotmail.com

These are just some of the actions and news against the privatisation of schools in England - to keep abreast of developments go to the excellent website of the Anti Acadenies Alliance.

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