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Colmore Junior and Infants Schools Update

January 3, 2014

Parents at Colmore Junior and Infants Schools in Kings Heath were informed on 12th December that the schools were ‘investigating’ academy status. However, as the schools later confirmed that they had applied for a DFE conversion grant, it appears the conversion process is already well advanced.

‘Ask Colmore Parents’ is a group of parents who are campaigning for more detail from the schools about why they wish to convert and for a proper consultation process to be established. They believe parents should hear the arguments against conversion as well as those in favour.

A meeting of the group is taking place on Thursday 9th January at 6.30 at the Red Lion on Vicarage Rd. All parents and supporters are welcome.




No to Colmore Academy

December 15, 2013

Colmore Junior and Infant Schools in Kings Heath recently announced their intention to ‘investigate seeking academy status’.


Parents have been given until 31st January to send in comments but no parents’ meeting has so far been arranged.

A group of concerned parents have set up ‘No to Colmore Academy’ to campaign against the proposal and to press the school for a fully accountable and democratic consultation. You can follow them on Twitter here or join the Facebook Group here.

Colmore parents are encouraged to contact the school to make sure it holds a parents’ meeting before the end of January.

The school emails are: and

Nishkam Free School fails Ofsted

July 27, 2013

Originally posted on allianceagainstbirminghamacademies:

The Nishkam primary free school ‘requires improvement’

The Nishkam primary ‘free school’ in Handsworth, Birmingham’s first free school,  opened in September 2011. It claims on its website that ‘The primary purpose of the school is the drive for academic excellence. This is exceptionally important in our aspirations for pupils to exceed national standards.’

AABA campaigned against the free school opening. Now we have been proved right. The Nishkam school has just comprehensively failed its Ofsted inspection.

It rated Nishkam Primary as ‘requiring improvement’ in all of the main areas – achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, and leadership and management. (Birmingham Mail report, 20 July).  The report concluded that the school needed to raise standards because ‘there is not enough teaching which is good enough to enable pupils to learn as quickly as they should’.  Inspectors were also critical of the school’s leadership, saying…

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Add your name. Condemn Gove’s plans to rank children in national league tables

July 18, 2013

Originally posted on A Charter for Primary Education:

Please comment below to add your name in support of this letter to the national press.

Initial signatories:

Malory Blackman, Children’s Laureate
Michael Rosen Children’s Author
Alan Gibbons  Children’s Author
Andy Seed Children’s Author
John Coe NAPE National Association Primary Education
Dr Terry Wrigley Leeds Met University
Clare Kelly Lecturer Goldsmiths University

Kenny Frederick, Executive member,  NAHT

Christine Blower Gen Sec NUT
Kevin Courtney Dep Gen Sec NUT
Max Hyde National Vice President NUT

Sara Tomlinson Lambeth NUT
Jess Edwards Coordinator Primary Charter
Dr John Yandell Institute of Education
Alex Kenny Inner London Exec, NUT

We are writing to express our concern over the announcement on Weds of an increase in primary school floor targets, an increase in the amount of testing for primary school pupils and the intention to place all pupils in a league table ranked on ability. Rather than a philosophy of every child matters, this is…

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Another one going?

July 18, 2013

Originally posted on Stourbridge Labour Councillors:

After the decision by Redhill School to convert to an academy and the ‘sale’ of Stourbridge College and it’s assets to Birmingham Metropolitan, the community in Stourbridge faces the loss of another of their jewels if Ridgewood High School in Wollaston decides to become an Academy.

Concerned local parents have raised the issue with councillors feeling that they have not been given enough information to make an informed opinion about the plans set out by Ridgewood governors and leadership team.

The consultation, which runs from June to September, on the surface looks to provide enough time but when you factor in that for 6 weeks the school will be closed and that the public meeting for parents only happened last week the reality if the consultation is that it will be compressed into a few short weeks at the beginning of the new academic year. We will be writing to…

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Teachers unite to challenge Gove

May 11, 2013

Originally posted on communitiesagainstthecuts:

Three halls in the ICC were required to accommodate the joint NUT/NASUWT regional rally today. The best part of one thousand teachers came to hear defiant speeches from Kevin Courtney (NUT), Chris Keates (NASUWT) and other teachers, parents, governors and students, denouncing the damage that is being done to education and teachers by Gove’s “reforms”.  The rally was preceded by a lively march of 130 teachers, from the bottom of Corporation Street up to the Convention Centre.
Birmingham NUT leads the way up New Street

Birmingham NUT leads the way up New Street

Kevin Courtney set the scene by describing how public influence over education was being replaced by private. He reminded us that academies have been shown not to raise standards, unlike other initiatives such as City Challenge. The ending of the latter programme and the bringing in of unqualified teachers will not only reduce standards, but also drive down pay. This has been shown graphically by the failure…

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Co-operative Education Against the Crises

April 27, 2013

Originally posted on Campaign For State Education:

ESRI and the Co-operative College are co-hosting Co-operative Education Against the Crises to explore the potential of the Co-operative school movement and identify how academics can support its development. The event will take place in Manchester at MMU, Didsbury campus, on 4 July. Registration is now open on the event website

There has been endless critique of the neoliberal project to little noticeable effect, with recent examples having been labeled ‘bad academia’ by the Secretary of State for Education, teachers and academics write letters, and unions pass votes of no confidence yet the reforms roll on.

We propose an alternative course, to develop a Co-operative approach to education and following on from this to the rest of the public sector and society also.

The project takes as its starting point Michael Apple’s (2006) chapter ‘Interrupting the Right: On Doing Critical Educational Work in Conservative Times’ in…

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