Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Silent Petchy academy speaks... to someone else

In the week leading to June 3 Blood and Property asked the Petchey Academy if it was true that as many as 30 teachers were leaving the school this year.

Press officers from the Learning Trust and the Jack Petchey foundation both replied saying that the school would deal with the inquiry. However the school has yet acknowledge the questions, let alone respond to the emails or telephone messages.

But the school does speak to some journalists. Yesterday an article called Education: Inside and Academy was published by Children and Young People Now and painted a positive picture although it may also have provided some clues as to why teachers might be unhappy.

Soon-to-depart headteacher, David Daniels said: "Here, children attend 29 hours a week and not 25, so every child does extra-curricular activities on Wednesday afternoon. There are about 30 activities including tae kwon do, flamenco dancing, the green team, web design, street dancing and sports." The academy also offers a wide range of after-school clubs, access to support services and community activities.

Could the extra hours be taking their toll on staff? One watcher of academies in Hackney fears that they are becoming slave ships for teachers. Apparently one of the symptoms of this problem is that there are very few teachers with families in these schools - I don't know if there's any evidence to back this claim. However, if Academies won't answer questions then speculation is going to happen.

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