National teachers’ union leader Christine Blower criticises “meek” Labour-led council over Cavell Primary academisation plans

Christine Blower, of the National Union of Teachers (NUT). Christine Blower, of the National Union of Teachers (NUT).

Thursday, February 27, 2014
8:00 AM

A national teachers’ union leader has criticised Norfolk’s Labour-led administration for “meekly putting up with” a government drive for many of its schools to be converted to academies.

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Christine Blower, national secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said the NUT had been more effective at supporting local authorities than they had been at supporting themselves.

She said she could not understand the Labour-led council’s position on the future of Cavell Primary School, which it is pushing to become an academy after Ofsted put it in special measures in May.

The school was yesterday formally taken out of special measures, but the interim executive board the county council appointed to replace its previous governors still wants it to become an academy.

Ms Blower said: “I can’t account for it. It seems like a very odd decision, particularly in the face of parents not wanting to do it.”

She added: “If you have a centralised agenda of taking all the schools under the direct control of Michael Gove’s office, you have no local democratic oversight, then things will go wrong. We don’t understand why local authorities are meekly putting up with this, even if they are Labour ones.”

Mick Castle, Labour cabinet member for schools, said: “I have always made it quite clear that I wanted the highest possible standards in schools, regardless of whether they are church, free, academy or local authority schools.

“All I know is that Cavell School was a failing school last year. We took out the governors and put in an interim executive board and the decision about an academy does not rest with us.”

Should Cavell Primary still become an academy? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

10 comments

  • Interesting you should say that, Capri. The Save Cavell campaign is entirely non-political, and is simply based on parents wanting the best for their children. The community was consulted on joining a Co-operative Trust and overwhelmingly supported the proposals. Mick Castle's response (or the response of his handlers) was to sack the governors for the crime of having a mind of their own, in order to force the school to become an academy. This shouldn't be a political issue - it's a simple case of the illegal and antidemocratic abuse of power by DfE and NCC bullies. Whatever your opinion of academies, that has to be wrong.

    Report this comment

    djw

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • How did Nobbs vote on THE hEARTSEASE ACADEMY WHICH WAS THE BISHOP OF NORWICHS CREATION AND OTHER CITY COUNCILLORS.?

    Report this comment

    No to tory boy

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • Cop-out castle!

    Report this comment

    Marigold

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • And another thing - the "failing" rhetoric is damaging and inaccurate propaganda. The school was in special measures. It was never failing, and Ofsted have consistently been very happy with the school's reaction to that and plans for the future. Mick Castle should spend less time regurgitating everything his officers tell him, and more time actually finding out about his brief.

    Report this comment

    djw

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • Children's education has become a bit of a political football these days. The National Union of Teachers, on the left, not wanting academies. Especially in Labour led local authorities. Conservative and other right wing people and organisations wanting Academies which, by definition, are not run by local authorities. Teaching unions have less influence over how schools are run in Academies than in traditional Local Education Authority schools.

    Report this comment

    Capri

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • Excellent ideas for policy, Frodo. Trouble is that Education long ago reached the point where it has next to nothing to do with schools, teachers, pupils, children or even education! That change happened about the time of "Education, education, education" - look at me, I am doing something! And the electorate is SO gullible. For 'education' substitute 'votes'. That's politics in a nutshell. Never mind the taxpayer, the schools, the pupils, the parents ... vote for ME!

    Report this comment

    Patrick

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • Oh Mick, you know more than that. You know that the governors were removed even though Ofsted reported that they provided good leadership and their improvement plan was fit for purpose, just because they stood up to your academy bullying. You know that the IEB were appointed with clear instructions that they were expected to recommend that the school should become an academy. You know that even after the school came out of special measures, NCC and the DfE were insisting that they had to make the school an academy. And you know (or should do) that you have no legal authority to force that on the school. Consider your position.

    Report this comment

    djw

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • Do you want your children to be in a basket of schools where all the teachers love each other or do you want your children to be educated in a profit driven school where all the teachers hate each other and hate children....please vote yes or no?.

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • I don't understand why the NUT hasn't decided to run their own schools.....then they could have a set number of strike days built into the school year. They could also have longer holidays, more sick pay, higher pay, better pensions, more snow days, more volcano days, and absolutely no teacher assessment days.

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • ....."The community was consulted on joining a Co-operative Trust"....did the community do the 'consulting' or was it another group?

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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