Avenue parents want to be heard

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Avenue Primary is a good school we are not in Special Measures so cannot be forced to convert into a Multi Academy Trust. No information regarding the reasons or benefits of this process has been shared with parents. Some members of the governing board quoted poor SATs results as rationale for this move. But three schools locally Dersingham, Sir John Heron and Salisbury all have similar SAT results yet they are not pursuing academisation. Sheringham which is part of a MAT is within the same range as us!
NUT document: Opposing academies cites the following;
1. There is no independent evidence that Academies offer pupils a better education than other local schools. Exam achievement has stalled or even regressed at some Academies.

2. Academies are not democratically accountable to their local communities. They do not have to listen to parents or the public.

3. Academies often use unfair admissions procedures to change their school population.

In recent months there has been significant media coverage of how Academies are not working in the interests of students. There is evidence to show that once a public school is converted into a MAT the standard of education often drops and financial oversight becomes much more difficult. Academisation does not improve pupil attainment. There are many cases of squandered reserves, massive CEO salaries and corruption related to Multi-Academy Trusts in this country. Currently finances are funnelled through national and local government ensuring that there is a level of accountability. Academies receive finances straight from the government there is little monitoring. Allowing financial abuse of public funds.

The fact that admission procedures may be changed is concerning as this would allow unfair and unethical selection of students. Students with SEND or those from migrant communities may be discriminated against. As their enrolment could potentially have a negative impact on league table results. All schools are extremely good for children with special needs and if academisation goes ahead we will have no guarantee that the current support for and inclusion of SEND children will be maintained. Newham is a very diverse borough with a multicultural presence. Academisation means that our schools are no longer run by the local authority and are instead open to private, unaccountable interests.
By converting Avenue Primary from a community model to a business one will eventually lead to benefits for a few select people, at the expense of the many.

Despite several attempts to discuss academisation with the governing body, we continue to be ignored. There has been no consultation process as stipulated in legislation.

The decision for MAT should be made by all stakeholders - especially parents and teachers, rather than by a handful of undemocratically selected individuals. Currently there is concern that the majority of the Membership board may be attracted to the financial gains of becoming an Academy not for the students or the community but for themselves.

We are aware that teachers will be balloting for strike action against academisation. We too would like to have a parental ballot. We would like a consultation period and for an independent and binding parental ballot which will ensure that this process is democratic rather than the current unfair takeover we are facing.

We must ask ourselves why we should proceed with this process if the NUT oppose it and the government retracted the need for all schools to become academies in May 2016! There is no pressure the only driving force is financial gain for a few certainly not for our children. 

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