Education consultation launched in response to ‘major challenges’ facing schools across Hackney
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An education consultation has been launched to gauge opinion on the “major challenges” facing schools across Hackney.
Funding cuts mean the borough’s schools could be nearly £20m worse off over the next three years, putting further strain on staffing and schools’ ability to deliver a full curriculum.
Hackney Council, which launched the consultation today, wants to know what people living in the borough think about the role of the local authority in schools and parent governors, as well as forced academisation.
In September the Hackney Learning Trust announced plans to consult on whether to establish a multi-academy trust, which would encourage all schools to become academies.
The National Union Of Teachers condemned HLT’s “surprise move”, and accused them of “accelerating the government’s fragmentation of the education system”.
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Children’s services boss, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble stressed that her chief concern is the government’s plan to reintroduce grammar schools basing admission on academic achievement.
“The education sector is facing huge challenges,” she said. “The government has a very clear agenda for schools, which would mean less local accountability and the council playing less of a role in them.
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“We are opposed to reintroduction of grammar schools, which we think will undermine years of hard work by the council, our schools, and pupils.
“We don’t want to see selection in Hackney schools, we want to maintain a close relationship with our community of schools and to continue to play a vital role in school improvement.”
The council carried out a similar consultation in 2003, with residents stating that they wanted to see more non-selective, non-denominational, mixed-sex comprehensives.
Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville said: “With so many changes being forced upon our schools, now is the right time to speak to parents, teachers and governors about the sort of education system they want in Hackney.
“I’d urge everyone to take part and help to influence the future of education in our borough.”
The consultation is open until February 28. To complete the questionnaire – which is being delivered to every home in the borough – online visit consultation.hackney.gov.uk.