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No To Academy Status

Monday, January 13, 2014

Dept For Education Must Heed 74% Of Parents Voting No To Academy Status For Dorothy Barley School And Ensure IEB Is Transparent In All Consultation And Change Processes

Parents and Guardians have exercised their democratic right under the Government's Localism Act which, enables communities to exercise a democratic voice in the running of their services says GMB.

GMB, the union for school support staff, is urging Barking and Dagenham Council to inform the Department for Education (DfE) that to disregard the outcome of the NO vote in the referendum ballot of parents of Dorothy Barley School undertaken by the Council, is not keeping with the Government’s Localism Act. The Act was introduced to devolve more decision making powers from central government back into the hands of individuals, communities and councils.

GMB wants the Independent Education Board (IEB) which is tasked with overseeing the proposed forced conversion to academy status to be completely transparent with it consultation and processes of change. The refusal by IEB the to extend the deadline of their consultation beyond 20th December 2013 to take account of the parents’ referendum questions that the IEB is disregarding the majority of parents who voted within the referendum conducted by the Council.

Keith Williams, GMB Organiser said “The 74% vote of parents who voted in the referendum against Dorothy Barley becoming an Academy was run correctly and GMB is urging the Independent Education Board appointed by the DfE to take full notice of the outcome. For anybody to question the turnout is to bring into question the result of virtually every election held in the UK and EU. Those who care about the running of the school and the future of their children's education have made their views known in a democratic ballot vote and must be upheld.

If the unions suggested disregarding the outcome of ballots they would be castigated. It would appear that the government’s only priority is to increase the rate of academy conversions over the accountability to, and the wishes of the communities and children's educational standards these decisions will affect.

Parents and Guardians have exercised their democratic right under the Government's Localism Act which enables communities to exercise a democratic voice in the running of their services. The Independent Education Board and the Dfe has a statutory responsibility to take account of the outcome of the referendum and the views of parents.”

Ends

Contact: Keith Williams, GMB Organiser on 07710 631339 or Gary Doolan, GMB Political Officer on Colin Greer, GMB Organiser on 07974 249745, Mick Vivian, GMB Organiser on 07974 251826 or Daren Parmenter, GMB Organiser on 07725 791833 or GMB Press Office: 07974 251823 or 07921 289880.

Notes to Editors:

The Localism Act was introduced in November 2011. The aim of the act was to devolve more decision making powers from central government back into the hands of individuals, communities and councils. The act covers a wide range of issues related to local public services, with a particularly focus on the general power of competence, community rights, neighbourhood planning and housing. The key measures of the act were grouped under four main headings;

·           new freedoms and flexibilities for local government

·           new rights and powers for communities and individuals

·           reform to make the planning system more democratic and more effective

·           reform to ensure decisions about housing are taken locally

·           find out more at http://www.local.gov.uk/localism-act

 

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