Save our Children's education! Allow failed academies to return to Local Authority
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In 2016, our local school - Longshaw Primary School - was forced by the Department for Education into becoming an academy. Us parents were given no say in how this may affect our children.
Now a slew of financial irregularities have been uncovered, dozens of teachers have left and almost 100 children too. The Silver Birch Academy Trust of which the school is under, is being dissolved in accordance with parent demand. That is why we're calling for failed academies to have the option of being brought into local authority supervision to bring stability. If this doesn't happen, we fear these failures could lead to our children not getting the education they deserve or need for their futures.
At the time, we started to realise something was going very wrong when teachers didn’t come back after holiday breaks. We were given no notice of teachers leaving, our children would return from holidays to find much-loved teachers replaced with agency staff. Some children have experienced as many as 7 different teachers in 2 years and in the academic year of 2017/2018, only 4 out of the 14 classes did not experience a change of teacher.
In addition, we have discovered that the Trust had employed unqualified family members to teach and that members of its management team were providing their personal services as consultants, charging the school as much as £650 a day.
This isn't just a one off case. Since speaking out, we've had parents across the country tell us the same thing is happening to their children's schools. Why is this being allowed to happen?
There are too many stories like ours, where Trusts have grossly failed our children and teachers in our schools. Morale is low amongst staff, school funds have been depleted and parents have been kept in the dark. Meanwhile the CEO and deputy CEO have paid themselves huge salaries.
Trusts are not held accountable. Our school cannot afford another Trust that is rife with cronyism, nepotism and financial self-interest and for as long as the current system remains, this behaviour will continue.
Our local authority Waltham Forest still has many schools under its supervision and these schools have prospered. Returning Longshaw to the local authority is in the best interest of the school and will ensure that it is accountable to the community. We love our school and want it to prosper even when our kids no longer attend the school.
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