Islington Campaign Against Academies

The latest political football match in education involves schools being taken from Local Education Authorities (LEAs) and given to private individuals in exchange for relatively small amounts of money. The LEA then has to keep paying to send students there, having spent tens of millions of pounds refurbishing it for the privelege of giving it away, while the sponsor gets his own fief and some control over expenditure.

If they succeed, possibly because the new buildings allow the school to select better off students, then the government claims the benefit and slates the LEA schools around it. If it fails, then it was nobody's fault. The students and staff are a political football, but headteachers, governors and councillors may be tempted if they see it as "the only game in town."

In order to bolster the project our "Labour" government has begun resorting to forms of cronyism we thought had not survived into the 21st Century. Read these see four expose's by the Sunday Times on the links between academy sponsorship and political patronage.

Although the St Mary Academy passed it's first hurdle when plans were accepted in the face of concerted opposition on 27th September 2005, there were outstanding challenges to the legality of the consultation as certain statutory considerations were not taken into account. Demolition began in earnest in February 2006, although the Schools Adjudicator had still not given his opinion (now due in March) and immediately a scandal erupted over safety precautions while students were on site.

For the unofficial St Mary Magdalene Diary  click here

On Saturday 25th March there will be a conference discussing the likely impact of the Education Bill currently going through Parliament.
The venue is the Institute of Education and it is aimed at all those with an interest in providing a quality local education for students.
Inst. of Ed. UCL, 20 Bedford Way, 25/3/06 10am-4pm or download the flyer

ICAA organising meeting
Wednesday 15 March Islington Town Hall
Committee Room 2

  1. St Mary Mag's.
  2. Islington Green.
  3. Report from national Anti Academies Alliance steering group meeting.
  4. Future activities.
  5. Any other business.

Two academies are proposed in Islington:

A Church of England Academy on Liverpool Road N1.
Following concerns about the consultation, this project has been returned to the Schools Adjudicator. This decision has now been delayed until March, but nevertheless demolition of buildings and a local park has already begun.

The Islington Gazette has carried a number of articles. For up to date articles, search their site for "Magdalene".

See newspaper coverage by the Islington Tribune 20/5/05 for an article on demonstrations in the Summer.

An "ARK" academy on the sites of Islington Green School and Moorlands Primary.
ARK have now pulled out of this project, although the headteacher wishes to continue as an 11-18 academy. For the LEA press release. Pictures from the small demo last Thursday will be posted soon.

Please look at the Picture Gallery to see the campaign so far.

This site is currently being constructed but will be regularly updated. Sorry if it is disorganised. Last updated 5th March 2006

For links relevant to city academies

For information about the campaign contact

For information for the website contact