Members of Hackney Matters Panel take part in education consultation
Members of the Hackney Matters Panel took part in a discussion as part of the Hackney: Schools For Everyone consultation at City Academy last month.
Dozens of the online citizens panel – who regularly contribute their views to help shape Council policy – attended the event on 26 January, adding their opinions to the thousands of local residents who have already filled in an online or paper questionnaire.
The key questions put to residents, who represented a cross section of the borough, were about what people think of the current education offer in Hackney, what they think about forced academisation and Government proposals to introduce more grammar schools.
The event was introduced by the Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville and Deputy Mayor Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, and chaired by Group Director for Children, Adults and Community Health Anne Canning
Attendees were split into groups, with discussions facilitated by Council staff.
It felt apt that we held this discussion at City Academy, which achieves some of the top GCSE results in the country. This school – and all of our fantastic secondary and primary schools – really demonstrates just how far we’ve come over the last 15 year or so, from some of the worst schools to some of the very best.
Back in 2003, when the then government introduced its original academies programme, we consulted local people on what kind of schools they wanted to see in the borough. They responded with a clear demand for non-selective, non-denominational, mixed-sex comprehensive schools. This feedback allowed us to negotiate the first phase of the academies programme to deliver exactly that.
The current government has proposed huge changes to education; from reductions in funding for areas like Hackney, to the reintroduction of selective grammar schools, forced academisation and who sits on governing bodies. We also face huge pressures around school places. All of this feedback will help us to lobby government to ensure we can deliver the schools that Hackney wants.