Archive for the ‘Children and Young People’ Category

There’s currently a proposal to build a free school with a catholic ethos on the site currently occupied by Lambeth College in Brixton. There’s a consultation meeting this Wednesday on whether or not this is a good idea. Lambeth NUT and Save Lambeth College in Brixton are encouraging everyone to go to argue it is a bad idea. Lambeth SOS supports this campaign.

Consultation Meeting – Do we need a Free School
Wednesday 12th February, 7pm – 9pm
Lambeth College Clapham Site, 45 Clapham Common South Side, London, UK SW4 9BL

(there’s another consultation at the same date and venue from 5-7pm for people who prefer an earlier time)

There’s no particular plan for the evening, but if you want some inspiration on why free schools are bad some thoughts are below

Free Schools are independent schools with state funding. Any “suitable sponsor” can apply to the Secretary of State for Education for approval to open a free school including private businesses, academy chains, parents, teachers, other schools, universities and faith groups. Free schools do not need local authority support to open and, despite the shortage of primary places in many parts of the country, many secondary free schools have been approved to open in areas with surplus places.

Free Schools Can:

  • Set their own pay and conditions for staff
  • Employ teachers without qualified teacher status
  • Determine their own admissions arrangements
  • Decide upon their own curriculum
  • Set the length of terms and school days
  • Operate independently of the local authority and outside the local family of schools

Trinity Academy is particularly bad. There is not a need for a new secondary school in Brixton, if one opens it will have a negative effect on secondary education across the borough. The chair of governors is a nasty right winger called Dennis Sewell. In the Spectator he has argued that punishing the rich hurts everyone and written an article on Michael Gove vs the Blob

Why does everyone who wants to keep Brixton College open need to turn out in force to the lobby of the council on Wednesday, 20th November? Because the result of our lobby to the governor’s meeting was highly inconclusive. So we will be meeting at Rush Common (in front of the Brixton campus) at 5 pm and marching to City Hall to join the housing lobbies at 6 pm, because it’s all austerity.

20th November poster

Last night the Save Lambeth College in Brixton campaign — staff, community members and students — attended the Lambeth college governor’s meeting to try and find out just what the board of governors is planning to do with the Brixton campus. Asked to leave the warm and spacious building itself, I for one was a little unprepared for just how cold it would be waiting for a report back from the two representatives of the group whom they did allow to address the board.

We oppose the sale of the Brixton Centre, Lambeth College to property developers. We call on the College to keep using the whole site for community education and to secure the funds to rebuild the centre. Our demand at this point was primarily for transparency, and community hearings where the board can inform the community of their plans for the campus and hear back from the community. We asked that governor’s announce this right away, but they said very little though a sale is certainly being contemplated. The president seemed to be waiting to see what happened at the city council lobby, and appeared to think they had the support of local MPs.

We clearly need to put the pressure on.

If you want to get get involved:

And above all? Join the lobby of City Hall on Wednesday, the 20th of November to fight for our community’s rights to education and housing.

Save the Little Starz nursery

Posted: September 25, 2013 by rabidleftwinger in Children and Young People, Cutswatch
Tags: ,

Lambeth Save Our Services has been asked to support the campaign against the closure of the Little Starz nursey in West Norwood.

Can people please sign the petition here

The matter is urgent, closure is planned for Friday 27th.

I, we, a load of children, carers and parents really hope that you can help in our campaign to save our nursery. You may or may not be aware of the devastating news that Lambeth have cut the funding at my daughters nursery school, Little Starz, in West Norwood (as well as their Kennington branch), forcing it to close on 27th September. The received a bad Ofstead report and instead of working with them to come up to standard, the removed the VITAL funding needed to operate.

I have started an online petition through which so far, having started on Wednesday at 4pm, has 172 signatures and counting.

Please read my petition and let me know if you feel you can help me fight the council. I spoke to them this week and they basically told me there is nothing more they can do, the decision is final, and offered me a list of child-minder’s in the area. This infuriated me further. and I am determined to beat them.

kindest regards,

(if you want to contact the organisers of the campaign, please contact us and we’ll forward your message)

Remember the November story about the ways in which the council’s own equality impact assessment stated that cuts to housing division staff are falling disproportionately on black workers? The union has been working steadily to protect these jobs so far, but they are still on the block. It seems that by the council’s logic, if cuts must be made, why not the most vulunerable workers? Such probable race discrimination in redundancies is compounded by the realities of who is being hit the hardest by these cuts in the community: black women and children, the elderly, the disabled. The Lambeth Ethnic Minority Achievement Team was one of the first services to be completely cut. We believe we need to stand together against discrimination and against these cuts. Join us in fighting to preserve those services that remain, and the qualified and committed people who provide them…

Wednesday, 27th Feb
6-7 pm Brixton Town Hall

06 November 2012

Lambeth caught in race row over job cuts Trade union Unison has attacked senior officials at Lambeth LBC for suggesting job cuts to the authority’s housing division, which would disproportionately fall on black workers.

An equality impact assessment into the restructure of the authority’s housing division reported around three quarters (73%) of BME workers are at risk of redundancy, compared with less than half (45%) of white staff.

According to Unison officials, Lambeth’s redundancy proposals are in breach of the public sector equality duty and represent probable unlawful indirect race discrimination against black and minority ethnic (BME) staff.

Unison housing convenor, Hassina Malik, said: ‘Reorganisation proposals which only reduce the total number of jobs by a handful unnecessarily threaten more than a hundred workers with redundancy and the Council’s own ‘equality impact assessment’ admits that the impact on black staff is ‘extremely statistically significant’.

According to Ms Malik, managers from the housing division began consulting staff on job losses without making available the equality impact assessment. ‘It is not acceptable for Lambeth Council to press ahead with a restructure which they can see is discriminating against black workers,’ Ms Malik said. Concerns over the impact of the proposed job losses will be raised at a meeting between trade unions and Lambeth councillors on Thursday.

Battersea Park Adventure Playground Occupied

Posted: January 13, 2013 by rabidleftwinger in Children and Young People

Wandsworth Against Cuts and Occupy London occupied Battersea Park Adventure Playground last week in protest at council plans to shut the playground and replace it with an unstaffed facility. This was reported in the Wandsworth Guardian and ITV London

The occupiers are still there are need help to ensure they’re campaign is successful. If anyone can help out at all with this campaign please phone Colin on 07905 352221 or email

We’re on TV

Posted: November 9, 2012 by rabidleftwinger in Children and Young People, Cutswatch, Media attention

Ruth Cousins from Q&D Productions has done a short film on Lambeth’s Cooperative Council project featuring our very own Grace and Andy.

More information on the film and film makers can be found here

The South London Press covered last week’s lobby against council outsourcing, and included a quote from Steve Reed justifying his ridiculous cooperative council project. Jan Ware, once of the demonstrators, was so outraged at Steve Reed’s response she wrote a letter to the South London Press, which they published in this week’s edition. Congratulations to Jan on getting such a good letter in.

Last week’s protest against the council outsourcing got on the front page of this week’s Streatham Guardian. You can read the story online here, and a copy of the print edition is below.

More from Wednesday nights lobby

Posted: September 24, 2012 by lambethsaveourservices in Children and Young People, Demonstrate, Rally & Occupy!

On Wednesday night 80 people gathered outside the Town Hall in Brixton to lobby Lambeth Council over changes and cuts to local services, particularly in Children’s and Young Peoples services. It was the first council cabinet meeting since the end of the summer holidays, during which a scandal in the Co-operative Council Early adopters the Adventure Playground Service forced the Council to close the entire service.

Many people were gathered to challenge the council over their plans to outsource the One O’Clock Club service, despite the majority of the consultation meetings opting for the council provided service over the new Cooperative Council external providers.


Our protest against outsourcing of the One O’Clock clubs was covered by this week’s Brixton & South London Press