By a teacher
The Anti-Academies Alliance Conference was held at the Institute of Education on Saturday 25th November. Over 200 teachers, headteachers and young people attended the event to discuss the ongoing and escalating fight against the recently voted Education and Inspections Bill which allows private institutions to run state funded schools. The flagship policy is encapsulated by the City Academy, which allows wealthy backers to set the ethos and "adapt" the National curriculum to their prejudices.
Stephen Ball, a Professor of Sociology at the Institute, spoke at the conference calling the Education Bill a return to a "Victorian Education system" in which is run by philanthropy, faith schools and a strong emphasis on Enterprise.
A key question which was discussed was the reasons why this Labour government thinks it best to give £25 million pounds to the private sector to run our schools whilst removing nearly all democratic controls from local parents and citizens. The answer was clear, education is a new market to be exploited, children are to be prepared to serve the interests of local and global capital.
The Conference was the second gathering by AAA, there were inspiring stories of local campaigns such as one in Doncaster where a group of parents, Tracey Morton speaking as one told of a successful campaign against a Sir Reg Vardy academy.
There are currently 28 academies and the government has earmarked 200 to be built within the next 3 years. Despite this rapid "reform" there is an equally rapid growing organisation of teachers, educationalists and parents preparing a concerted fightback