The Independent Kids’ Cinema presents
Film + Drink + Crisps 50p
HOXTON: 3pm, Geffrye Estate Community Centre, Falkirk St, N1
Wednesday 10th August
HAGGERSTON: 10.30am, Goldsmiths Community Centre, Goldsmiths Row E2
PROBLEMS WITH REPAIRS, BENEFITS OR DEBTS?
HACKNEY INDEPENDENT ADVICE SURGERY
6-7pm, Wednesday August 10, Geffrye Estate Community Centre, Falkirk Street, N1.
Why does the council want to turn Haggerston School into a City Academy?
Haggerston School is a popular and successful part of our community. The top schools inspector stated it was among the most successful schools in the country. Haggerston came third in the borough’s “league table”.
So why does Hackney Council want to force Haggerston School to become a privately-sponsored mixed-sex City Academy?
The government plans to bring in just 200 city academies across the country. So why have Hackney Council and their private “Learning Trust” company that runs our schools, made it clear they want every secondary school in Hackney to become either a City Academy or foundation school? Most councils will not even have a City Academy, but they want us to have four!
Looking around the country it is clear that other councils have run successful schools into the ground so they can sell them off as City Academies.
Hands off Haggerston Campaign information sheet
Turning Haggerston into a mixed school is one way of doing this.
It looks like it’s a two-part plan – first change a popular girls’ school to a mixed school, then offer extra funding if it goes over to being a City Academy.
Whatever the pros and cons of mixed schools, we should oppose this change until the Council guarantee us that they will not make Haggerston a City Academy.
We know we are not alone thinking this. While the Council and the Learning Trust cook up their plans for Haggerston School, Hackney Independent went out to ask people what they thought. In a survey carried out across Fellows Court in June and July, we found 85% of people opposed the Council’s plans.
Why are our Labour council trying to force this change to Haggerston School on us?
It is because they are obsessed with privatising everything and getting rid of their responsibilities for everything from running swimming pools to cleaning our estates.
They’ve already privatised our estate managers, now they want to shift the whole of council housing to an ALMO company.
They’ve got rid of the running of our schools to the private Learning Trust, now they want rid of as many schools as they can to City Academies.
Privatising and transferring responsibility from the council is their one and only answer to everything.
Our children are being used as guinea pigs in the biggest change in education since they brought in comprehensives. This time it is not about a fair deal for all our kids, it is about privatising our schools.
We support the Haggerston School parents, pupils and staff and stand alongside them and Shoreditch tenants and residents in opposing the council’s plans. As the girls’ banner in our photo says: “Hands off Haggerston”!
The council has publicly announced that it intends to “explore options to bring [Haggerston] pool back into use under public ownership”.
This is to be welcomed.
Since its closure in February 2000, Haggerston Pool Users’ Group has campaigned hard for the reopening of the pool as a community facility, organizing demonstrations, lobbies, tv and media coverage, Open House and the Laburnum Street Party – all without support from Hackney Council, which has been justifiably embarrassed by their efforts.
When the council has lowered itself to offer help – most recently by advertising the street party in Hackney Today – it has de-politicised the issue, failing to acknowledge the campaign’s existence. It was, after all, a political decision to close this pool, while wasting millions of pounds on the disastrous Clissold Leisure Centre development.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the council is exploring options for the reopening of the pool without involving the Users’ Group.
As Hackney Independent has pointed out on numerous occasions, New Labour’s idea of ‘consultation’ is to make a decision and then only to listen to opinions from local interest groups if they agree with what they have already decided. Otherwise those opinions are ignored.
New Labour talks the talk about ‘local involvement’, ‘consultation’ and ‘community empowerment’, but notoriously fails to walk the walk. Hackney Council is a prime offender.
Mike Coysh, Chair of Haggerston Pool Community Trust, puts it succinctly when he says, “We welcome any moves to look at the possibility of re-opening the pool, but are disappointed that yet again a study has been commissioned without the involvement of the local community and the Pool Trust”.
The annual Laburnum Street Party took place last weekend and was a resounding success.
Hackney Independent ran an Independent Kids Cinema event, staffed a stall with our newsletters and a special information leaflet and provided the majority of stewards for the day.
Other activities included music and dance, a bouncy castle, clowns for kids and Laburnum Boat Club ran canal trips.
The street party is a genuine community festival organised by people living in the Laburnum Street area, which started last year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the opening of Haggerston Pool.
The pool was closed by Hackney Council in 2000 at which time it was promised that it would be reopened in months. It remains closed to this day and an aim of the fun day is to raise the profile of the pool and support the campaign for its reopening.
Although it has widespread support in the community, Hackney Council seemed to be doing its best to sabotage the event.
Official council newspaper Hackney Today was distributed a week before the event with a front page piece stating that the funday would take place on the Saturday rather than the Sunday.
The council also removed any mention of the pool campaign and portrayed the event as just “a good day out” with no political content.
Hackney Independent’s Carl Taylor said “We proud to be involved with this event. No wonder the Council were ashamed to mention the pool given their track record of closing community facilities in the area.”