We have just received the following response from Mark Straker Weld in response to our letter sent to the Birmingham Labour Party.
“Thanks for forwarding your measured and a timely response to the proposal for a MAP. I applaud your commitment to dissipate myths about the benefits of academisation and the demise of the LAs. I know that the schools have worked closely together for some time. I believe that this kind of collaboration is a force for good. I confess to being ignorant about what additional value would be gained through the proposed conversion.
I do understand the confusion created by the Cameron government’s White Paper. A commitment to reduce school budgets, coupled with the promise of forced academisation by 2020 was threatening. The avowed intention was to convert all schools into academies, thereby dismantling local authorities. Although the present government has abandoned this threat, I assume that the prospect still lingers at large in the consciousness of some governors.
Birmingham LA has been robust in challenging the White Paper. So have other councils of all parties across the UK: Conservative, LibDem and Labour. A massive effort is now required to repair the damage across the UK caused by this ideological whirlwind. I became involved with the Parents Action Group of Colmore J&I when such a move was tried some time ago and successfully resisted by them. The parents were wholly responsible in getting truthful information from Birmingham to combat the myths used to justify the proposal.
I am keen to offer my services to supply any information you need in order to ensure that parents are properly briefed. Please let me know if I can help in any way.
With best wishes and many thanks for sharing your spirited initiative
Martin Straker Weld
Labour Councillor for Moseley & Kings Heath”