Tuesday 3 June 2008, Brent Town Hall, London, NW9 – in a noisy meeting filled with members of the public opposed to the project, Brent council members approved the planning application for Ark child charity private Wembley Academy school.
A short video has been posted on YouTube.
Previous YouTube videos on the Wembley Academy Campaign – one, two, three, four.
Previous blog post.
With only one council member voting against the application the deal was secured, allowing Ark to open the school by September 2008.
Ark claims they have already accepted more than 200 places for the school. The only problem is the school is not built yet, as ITV London Tonight recently reported .
The planning approval authorised 200 children to be taught in rundown shacks and portacabins on the Wembley Sports Ground, next to Wembley Park underground station, while construction of a six storey school is built around them. This allows the private funder Ark to receive funds from the UK taxpayer and being profiting from it.
Local campaigner, Copland school teacher, Brent Secretary for the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and Brent Secretary for Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), Hank Roberts said: “It is the usual sort of stitch up. They [the council] are not interested in what the people think.
“We will never accept this. We are going to continue to fight it and we will win.”
The idea of a private investment school building the Academy school around children is not a new thing. This year Pimlico school in Central London also came under the hold of the Academy school system.
Venture capitalist, and Conservative party donor John Nash, owner of Sovereign Capital, took control of the school, and began demolishing the building around 1050 school children.
“When they first started pulling down the swimming pool we thought it was another earthquake,” said Pimlico teacher Bridget Chapman. “We’re working with the Battersea Crane Disaster group. They’re concerned because there have been a number of crane collapses.
“The cranes will be overhanging a school with children in.”
So, just how is this capable, to be able to risk children’s lives on construction sites so Academy school funders and profiteers can start reigning in the profit?
Busson has some highly influential friends, ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair for one. Busson claimed Blair was “engaged” with Ark’s Academy program.
Ark is building 12 Academies, six of which, including the newly approved Wembley construction site, will be open for business this September.
The one question to ask, I guess, is will the Wembley Academy be doing a course in construction site safety.
Reel News has given near constant coverage to the Wembley Academy Campaign and the slow privatisation of the UK education system, which culminated in the 22-minute film Save Our Schools! on issue 13.
Please support Reel News to keep our coverage going on the issues important to you.
All material on this blog, stills, video and print, is (c) Jason N. Parkinson 2008 All Rights Reserved.
Please contact the AUTHOR for access to any material and the extensive four-year video archive.
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