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We want St Joseph’s parents to be properly informed and listened to.

June 18, 2014


Parents lose their legal rights once a school becomes an academy. Not only that but the most recent data shows that sponsored primary academies are improving significantly more slowly than maintained primaries. Forcing academy status on St Joseph’s is politically and ideologically motivated and is not in the best interests of parents or pupils. Birmingham Local Authority and the Catholic Diocese have a moral duty to do what is right for this school and to ensure open and democratic consultation takes place. If that means standing up to the bullies from the DfE then that is what they should do.

Originally posted on Ask St Joseph's Parents:

We are a parent-led community group who believe that proper and meaningful consultation needs to take place explaining both the pros and the cons of becoming an academy.

Proper consultation involves hearing both sides of a debate such as

  • What are the advantages of becoming an academy?
  • What are the risks for the school?
  • How will it affect my child’s education?
  • How will it affect us as parents?
  • Why do some parents believe St Joseph’s should stay as it is?

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Colmore Schools will not become academies

June 18, 2014


Congratulations to Colmore parents on winning their campaign for a full consultation including a public meeting with speakers for and against. Open and democratic consultation was their legal right, but like so many other parents they discovered it was not being offered on conversion to academy status. In achieving meaningful consultation parents brought to the governors’ attention many aspects of academy status that they had not previously considered, with the result that they decided not to proceed.

Originally posted on Ask Colmore Parents:

Parents have received a letter dated 13th June confirming that the decision of the Colmore Schools is not to proceed with conversion to academy status.

The letter from the Chair of Governor states:  ‘We are not convinced that at this juncture the potential benefits of conversion outweigh the potential disadvantages’.

Letter from COG 130614

We welcome this decision and the consultation which preceded it, and would like to conclude our campaign by sharing the following messages:

To Colmore Schools: Thank you for listening to parents and for consulting. The public meeting you held was an important part of this process, and it was conducted in a positive and balanced manner. We hope the schools continue to flourish as local community schools.

To Birmingham City Council: Many parents have said they valued the involvement of the local authority and didn’t want the schools to ‘break away’. We hope you will do all you can to support and promote locally accountable state…

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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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