Ealing and Northfield

Southall’s spiteful Old Labour says no to having an academy

This week’s Gazette covered the continuing campaign by the Southall Labour dinosaurs against Featherstone High School becoming an academy. The ambitious management team there want to push their school forward and the matter will be decided at a governing body meeting on Tuesday night. The Southall Councillors, the Labour council leader Julian Bell and the local MP Virendra Sharma have all been leaning on the governors. Apparently Sharma asked to speak at the governing body meeting – ridiculous.

The front man of the anti-campaign, dubbed Southall Against Academies, is Stefan Simms, Socialist Workers Party member and deputy secretary of the Ealing NUT branch. Simms lies casually that moving to academy status is privatisation. It is not.

Academies are OK for Labour Hackney. Mossbourne Academy which replaced the “worst school in Britain”, Hackney Downs, led by the inspirational Sir Michael Wilshaw, saw 10 of its students get offers from Cambridge last year. Now they call it “the best comprehensive in the country”. Southall Labour aren’t interested.

In Ealing Drayton Manor and Twyford schools are actively considering becoming academies. Indeed we already have the West London Academy. The Labour council will undoubtedly opt to have an academy structure for the new high school in Greenford and the new primary school in Acton on the site of the Priory Community Centre. Academies are fine for Ealing Labour but Southall Labour aren’t interested.

A Southall teacher, Peter Hyman, an ex-speech writer for Tony Blair and deputy head at Greenford High School is trying to set up a free school in Newham. Southall Labour aren’t interested.

The spiteful old farts of Southall so value their own place and prestige over the life chances of their own young people that they are not prepared to let Featherstone fly. Shame on them.

One reply on “Southall’s spiteful Old Labour says no to having an academy”

Vivendra Sharma is a real piece of work. You are right he and the Southall Labour Group are indeed denyng children the right to a better future. However, the Labour Group has clearly not lost focus on its primary goal: the construction of a giant concrete car park in Southall at all costs. Now that is really going to help our children by increasng pollution in Southall and helping their future health!


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