Rushey Mead Secondary School - the fight continues
Leafleting the Community
Governors at Rushey Mead Secondary have started a derisory five-week consultation period over their decision to consider academy status.
Staff from the school were busy over the summer leafleting the local area, the Ratha-Yatra festival and The Belgrave Mela. They met with a positive response from parents who were deeply concerned about the process and wanting more information.
A public meeting held on 29th August heard City Mayor Peter Soulsby, Deputy Mayor with responsibility for Education Vi Dempster, and ex-Rushey Mead headteacher Steve White all condemning the proposals. No positive reason has been put forward by the executive headteacher as to why this will benefit students, staff or the community and it is vital that parents opposed to the proposals make their views know by writing to the Executive headteacher and Chair of Governors and insisting that the letters are passed on to all the governors.
Don't Believe the Hype
Ash Field Special School became an academy twelve months ago. Already, with no negotiation with teacher unions, the school is proposing changing the conditions of service for new teaching staff (with existing staff invited to sign up to the new contract). The changes include:
• 1550 instead of 1265 hours of directed time with teachers expected to be at work from 8am to 5pm Monday to Thursday (8am to 4pm on Friday).
• A twenty minute lunch break.
• At least two meetings per week with more as required by "the schools' needs".
Already some schools outside the city are trying to impose Saturday working and have lengthened the working year from 195 to 205 days. All these changes have followed the kind of assurances that staff at Rushey Mead are currently receiving about no changes!
A Public Debate
Leicester NUT issues a challenge to Carolyn Robson, the Executive Head Teacher at Rushey Mead and the driving force behind the proposals: take part in a debate on the proposals at a public meeting with parents, governors and speakers on both sides of the argument, staff, councillors, pupils and trade unions. We have yet to hear any positive reason why conversion would benefit the children of Rushey Mead or indeed education in the city as a whole. If there are reasons let's hear them and debate them openly.