With fascination I've been following the mini Poll on the Newbury Today web site – "Are you in favour of schools receiving Academy status?" The results (to date) show a general apathy towards the whole Academy scheme with more than half not bothered if their schools change.
Rachel Fryer, the Greens' education spokesperson, has a good summary of why people should care: "The Green Party has always spoken in favour of greater freedom for the school to decide how it is run. However this does not and must not mean putting the running of the school into the hands of a private sponsor who may know nothing or very little about education, and taking the power away from parents and teachers who have little representation on the governing body at an Academy."
"Academies can see principals paid in excess of £120,000 whilst there is a high turnover of valued and committed staff lower down the pay scale as they are invited to reapply for their jobs on different pay scales."
"Time and again Greens and others have asked why the freedoms and funding attached to Academies cannot be given without the strings of creeping privatisation and millionaire sponsors attached. Yet no answer is given."
"With the proposals of up to 25% cuts across local authorities, inevitably affecting front-line staff including teachers, we could be facing the situation of having new buildings without the teachers to go in them. Let's give the money directly to schools through greater investment and through bringing back BSF (Building Schools for the Future) money, trusting schools and teachers to know the best way to spend money to improve education."
Newbury & West Berkshire Green Party