WHO ARE WE? We are a group of Cambridgeshire parents, teachers and trade union activists opposed to academies. We came into being at a meeting organised by Cambridgeshire Against the Cuts held in Cambridge in July 2010. Our aim is to campaign against the creation of any academies in our county.
WHAT IS AN ACADEMY? • Academies are independent schools within the state sector. They are not maintained by the local authority but are run by external sponsors such as businesses, charities and religious organisations.
HOW ARE COMMUNITY SCHOOLS AND ACADEMIES DIFFERENT? • In community schools, governing bodies are accountable to their local communities, and the local authority employs the staff who work in the school. • Academies do not receive the benefits of local authority support and they are not democratically accountable to their local authority. • Academies have the majority of their governing bodies appointed by an external sponsor. Academies and are only obliged to have one parent governor. In community schools at least one third of governors must be parent governors. • Academies have their school controlled by sponsors e.g. admissions, curriculum and length of the school day. • Academies can choose ten per cent of their pupils by aptitude (i.e. selection) • Academies can set their own pay, conditions and working time arrangements for newly appointed teachers joining the school.
WHY ARE WE OPPOSED TO ACADEMIES? • Once a school becomes an Academy it is outside of local democratic control forever; academies give control of state schools to private businesses and other organisations. Many sponsors are unsuitable and have no educational experience or expertise. • There is no independent evidence that Academies offer pupils a better education than other local schools. • Academies often use unfair admissions procedures to change their school population. • Academies can undermine the pay and conditions of their staff. • The academies programme is a serious step towards the privatisation of the education system in the UK.