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10:00am Thursday 31st May 2012 in Letters
MR JK Sanders writes a potent letter (Oxford Mail ViewPoints, May 25) and will know that the kind of resistance to academisation by parents, pupils, staff, and other interested parties, as seen in the opposition to Oxford School becoming the Spires Academy and now by Cheney resisters, is a lost cause This is because the Academies Bill 2010 outlawed such opposition.
Parents and pupils and staff have no voice, just as, in the Ofsted scale of things, their views are dismissed if they contradict what the inspectors want by way of grading.
The legislation which Education Secretary Michael Gove forced through in the summer of 2010 was not proceeded by a Green Paper or White Paper, in effect railroaded through as if an emergency powers act in time of war, with no time for substantial debate.
Although six Liberal Democrat MPs moved an amendment, the Lib Dems in Parliament in the event did nothing to curb the Tories totalitarian tendencies in education policy – a shameful performance for a party which in its Liberal days was a champion of the comprehensive principle.
Now we know one in four academies are (legally) allowing the sale of junk food and fizzy drinks, a practice which is quite rightly no longer (legally) permitted in state-maintained schools.
We also know that the London Oratory academy in Fulham and Mossbourne academy in Hackney are refusing to admit pupils with special needs.
At Mossbourne, an 11-year old boy with cerebral palsy was refused on the grounds that his presence would compromise other children’s education, and at the Oratory, an 11-year old boy, whose unspecified condition would compromise the “efficient education of other children”, or so the arguments run. O brave new world?
BRUCE ROSS-SMITH, Bowness Avenue, Headington, Oxford
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