Tuesday, 2 October 2012

October 2nd Campaign Update

1. A pokey office and two classrooms - it's official!

Interesting article by Warwick Mansell in 'The Guardian', er, sorry to inform you Warwick, but I think that's the complementary season ticket gone...

'The Guardian' 2/10/12

Kick start?

It's the only "free school" so far to have been launched by a Premier League football club. But does Everton free school have another remarkable claim to fame: opening last month with only six pupils? This seems to be the case after the school in Liverpool was forced by the Unison union to respond to claims that it began life with as few as three students.

Everton free school focuses on alternative provision for 14- to 19-year-olds, taking on secondary pupils referred to it by other schools or the local authority.

In a letter to Jon Richards at Unison, the school's principal, Adrian Packer, said the figure of three children was inaccurate. He added that the school had a strict policy not to take on more than six pupil referrals in a week because of the complexity of the needs of the young people it educated, and that "this is our first week of offering alternative provision so our numbers (in this part of the school) reflect our policy". The numbers would double in the coming week, he said.

Packer also said claims that the school has only two classrooms are wrong. However, an email to local teacher and free school critic Richard Knights from the Department for Education (DfE) said: "The school has two dedicated classrooms and an office [although] the staff and students are free to use the communal areas." The email says: "Because of the restricted classroom space currently available, it is likely that the school will teach fewer students this year than it had originally planned." The school's roll would reach its capacity of 200 within three years, the email said. An Everton FC spokesman added: "Our free school operates under an agreed framework with the DfE, which permits the school to enrol up to six young people each week. That is precisely what we have done." Critics question whether public money is being used efficiently, although the school's budget has not been revealed.

2. First the sentence, then the verdict, finally the evidence...

The campaign to defend the Evertonians Against Free Schools One, er, that's me, continues, I've made an official complaint to Merseyside Police and to the Independent Police Complaint's Commission. It's being dealt with by an Inspector Brennan, please e-mail psd@merseyside.police.uk

It's alleged that I 'harassed and intimidated' Everton Free School Principal Adrian Packer, I've met him once, sent one letter. Er, don't know if Adrian has led a very sheltered life, but if he finds me intimidating... Still, a football club, the police, the judiciary, where could I go wrong?

3. Mr Packer's salary

Adrian has been rather coy about this, all will be revealed in the next few days (allegedly).

Richard Knights

Evertonians Against Free Schools

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