Teachers to fight city academies.Byline: BY JESSICA SHAUGHNESSY
CITY academies, like the two scheduled to be opened in Liverpool, came under heavy criticism at a national teachers conference last night.
The National Teachers Union (NUT Nut, in Egyptian religion
Nut (nt, nŭt), in Egyptian religion, sky-goddess. She was the sister-wife of the earth god Geb, to whom she bore Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nephthys. ) condemned con·demn
tr.v. con·demned, con·demn·ing, con·demns
1. To express strong disapproval of: condemned the needless waste of food.
2. plans for such privately sponsored schools as a 'fundamental threat' to fair state education.
But political leaders in Liverpool defended the move to open two city academies, one in Kensington and one in Anfield. Delegates at the event in Gateshead called for a major national campaign to 'scupper' Tony Blair's plans to build 200 academies by 2010.
They said academies would take the brightest pupils from neighbouring schools, cost twice as much as an average comprehensive and will be vulnerable to the influences of their sponsors, including 'religious fundamentalists'.
Last night, though, Liverpool's executive member for education, Cllr Paul Clein said: 'We are talking about a total investment of over pounds 40m in secondary schools in Liverpool.
'If that is going to improve the life chances of nearly 2,000 young people at these academies then we have got to support it.
'I have some sympathy with the NUT's stance. The academies were not ideal, but we had to make the best of To improve to the utmost; to use or dispose of to the greatest advantage.
To reduce to the least possible inconvenience; as, to make the best of ill fortune or a bad bargain.
See also: Best Best it and go with it and I think on the whole it will work.'
Liverpool's two city academies are already well under development at Kensington and Anfield.
The 900-pupil academy in Kensington is sponsored by the Anglican and Catholic churches and is due to open in September.
And West Derby Comprehensive School and St Benedict's Catholic School have also shown an interest in the scheme.
Of the NUT's claims the move will privatise Verb 1. privatise - change from governmental to private control or ownership; "The oil industry was privatized"
manufacture, industry - the organized action of making of goods and services for sale; "American industry is making increased use of education and leave schools vulnerable to 'religious fundamentalists', Cllr Clein said: 'In other areas, academies have opened in place of failing schools, but that is not the case in Liverpool. The ones here will replace successful schools' The academies will still maintain a good relationship with Liverpool LEA, which is not always the case in other areas, and that will be key.
'The academies have already signed up to the council's admissions policies and they will work with us in many different ways.
'As for religious fundamentalists, the Kensington academy is sponsored by the Catholic and Anglican churches and if you believe in religious schools, this will work well, particularly given the sectarianism sec·tar·i·an
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a sect.
2. Adhering or confined to the dogmatic limits of a sect or denomination; partisan.
3. Narrow-minded; parochial.
1. that used to be present in Liverpool.'
Earlier this month, the Commons educational select committee called on ministers to halt their plans for creating 200 academies at a cost of pounds 5bn.
The MPs said the Government should make sure the existing 17 city academies provided value for money before building any more.
Liverpool's Labour leader, Cllr Joe Anderson
Joe Anderson (born c. 1981) is a British actor.
He attented Richmond upon Thames College and later the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. , said: 'The NUT have said this over and over again, but they have not come up with any alternative