Save Cumberland School - listen to the community

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We have launched this petition to bring together the parent, staff and community voices who have been saying for many months and still say today - NO to the Cumberland School becoming an academy.

If Cumberland becomes an academy:

- The schooling of children with special educational needs is at risk. Academies do not have to provide SEN provision. Already a key scheme to support SEN pupils has been cut;

- Cumberland may stop being an inclusive school. Academies are free to refuse admittance on the basis of attainment;

- The academy trust takes control of school assets, including playing fields and tennis courts. The community has no say in how these assets are used;

- Academies do not have to appoint qualified teachers or to teach the national curriculum.

- Academies can set their own pay scales for teachers and staff – often leading to inflated senior management salaries at the expense of other staff;

- Academies follow a business model and open the door to education and school assets being treated as market products rather than services for the benefit of all.

Newham Council have recently passed a motion which ends support for any academisation in the borough. This was won through pressure by trade union and community groups at Avenue, Cumberland and Keir Hardie, and parents at many schools across Newham. The Council now have a policy that any school wishing to academise should hold binding staff and parent ballots.

Families with children at Cumberland have had no opportunity for meaningful consultation. All we have been offered is a brief one-to-one with the Headteacher and with no background information about the implications of academisation. This is an insult to our community. We call on the governing body of Cumberland School to halt the process of academisation in order to hold binding staff and parent ballots.