12-year-old girl leads 'strike' against Eltham Crown Woods College's change to academy status

12-year-old leads 'strike' against Eltham school's change to academy

Georgia Abbott pictured with pupils at Crown Woods College ahead of a 'strike' on June 3

Crown Woods College pupils against the school's change to an academy

Headteacher Michael Murphy

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A 12-year-old girl is organising a "strike" to protest against her Eltham school becoming an academy.

Crown Woods College, recently rebuilt in a £50m project, is set to become an academy in September in a move which headteacher Michael Murphy says is widely supported.

News Shopper: Crown Woods College pupils against the school's change to an academy

But Year 8 pupil Georgia Abbott is staging a day’s protest against the change which she fears will lead to a drop in educational standards.

She says around 50 pupils will take part in the "strike" - dubbed by Mr Murphy as "absolute nonsense" - on June 3 outside the school gates, in Bexley Road, from 8.30am to 3pm.

The 12-year-old told News Shopper: "I have organised a student strike day because our headteacher wants to change our school into an academy.

"There would be a lack of high teaching standards. It’s been proved other academies have gone down in Ofsted results."

Her grandmother Lesley Abbott, who lives in Briset Road, says Georgia is exercising her "democratic right" even though she is risking punishment.

The 59-year-old grandmother-of-seven said: "Georgia has been told there will be serious consequences if she goes through with it.

"She might only be 12 but she has a right to be heard, same as anyone else.

"We live in a democratic society.

"She’s thought this through, she hasn’t been influenced by anyone apart from herself and listened to both sides of the argument.

"I do support her because I think it is privatisation through the back door."

She added: "As an academy, they don’t have to answer to an educational authority. They can employ unqualified teachers, change the curriculum, change the term dates. I personally think it is wrong."

Georgia claims many teachers are unhappy about the change but students are striking on behalf of the staff as they might risk their jobs.

But Mr Murphy says staff and parents are happy with the move to academy status and there are only five pupils out of 1,600 who are concerned.

News Shopper: Headteacher Michael Murphy

He says the decision was taken for the best needs of the college and community and parents were reassured logistics such as the school day, year, uniform and organisation would not change.

He went on to say the idea of a "pupil strike" was nonsense and would be treated as truancy.

Mr Murphy said: "There are five pupils who are not happy with this and we have 1,600 pupils here.

"There is not going to be a pupil strike. I have made it clear that if they do, they are playing truant and will be appropriately punished.

"The whole concept of a pupil strike is absolutely nonsense."

School governors voted unanimously in December last year to join Leigh Academies Trust with parent and staff consultation taking place earlier this year.

The school will partner with Ravensbourne College and existing trust sponsor University of Greenwich.

Mr Murphy said: "This marks another significant milestone on our journey to outstanding and reflects our absolute commitment to providing the very best education for pupils and students.

"To be part of an outstanding Local Trust who share our commitment to "human scale" education and to benefit from a partnership with a premium Livery Company is a tremendous boost to the opportunities and life chances of our students.

"The close working relationship with the University of Greenwich and Ravensbourne College complete what is an outstanding educational partnership.

"This is all very exciting."

Chief Executive of Leigh Academies Trust Simon Beamish added:

“This partnership will bring additional high quality expertise and resources to the College to continue improving the life chances of its young people.

"Leigh Academies Trust also looks forward to creating cross-academy initiatives and wider career development opportunities for staff.

"The college is now well-placed to become the flagship of a second cluster of schools within the Trust, working with the Stationers’ Company, Ravensbourne and the University of Greenwich to continue transforming education in this part of London.”

Comments (10)

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1:47pm Fri 23 May 14

Toolbox69 says...

"The whole concept of a pupil strike is absolutely nonsense."

as, of course, are teacher strikes!
"The whole concept of a pupil strike is absolutely nonsense." as, of course, are teacher strikes! Toolbox69
  • Score: 0

6:26pm Fri 23 May 14

mumcabs says...

Absolutely ridiculous, and the parents should be supporting the school, NOT the pupils. It's rubbish that schools go downhill when they become Academies. Look at Harris Academy !!!!!!
Absolutely ridiculous, and the parents should be supporting the school, NOT the pupils. It's rubbish that schools go downhill when they become Academies. Look at Harris Academy !!!!!! mumcabs
  • Score: -11

7:33pm Fri 23 May 14

j.j. says...

So it's just a coincidence that 12 year old Georgia's actions mirror the fire-brand socialist views of her grandmother? I wonder who's planted the idea of organising this "strike" in her head...
So it's just a coincidence that 12 year old Georgia's actions mirror the fire-brand socialist views of her grandmother? I wonder who's planted the idea of organising this "strike" in her head... j.j.
  • Score: 1

10:52am Sat 24 May 14

Lalaflo says...

I bet neither her or her parents actually attended the meeting to listen to Mr Murphy the governors and Leigh trust!
I bet neither her or her parents actually attended the meeting to listen to Mr Murphy the governors and Leigh trust! Lalaflo
  • Score: -3

5:17pm Sat 24 May 14

Education36 says...

Toolbox69 wrote:
"The whole concept of a pupil strike is absolutely nonsense."

as, of course, are teacher strikes!
What a sad and ignorent comment, clearly from someone who hasn't got a clue about the education system and people who actually work hard for a living!
[quote][p][bold]Toolbox69[/bold] wrote: "The whole concept of a pupil strike is absolutely nonsense." as, of course, are teacher strikes![/p][/quote]What a sad and ignorent comment, clearly from someone who hasn't got a clue about the education system and people who actually work hard for a living! Education36
  • Score: 6

12:42pm Mon 26 May 14

anthonywilson says...

mumcabs wrote:
Absolutely ridiculous, and the parents should be supporting the school, NOT the pupils. It's rubbish that schools go downhill when they become Academies. Look at Harris Academy !!!!!!
Are you so sure about that with academy school's ?http://www.sthelens
reporter.co.uk/news/
local/failing-school
-placed-in-special-m
easures-1-6588368

There's plenty of other examples of academy schools' going to pot .
[quote][p][bold]mumcabs[/bold] wrote: Absolutely ridiculous, and the parents should be supporting the school, NOT the pupils. It's rubbish that schools go downhill when they become Academies. Look at Harris Academy !!!!!![/p][/quote]Are you so sure about that with academy school's ?http://www.sthelens reporter.co.uk/news/ local/failing-school -placed-in-special-m easures-1-6588368 There's plenty of other examples of academy schools' going to pot . anthonywilson
  • Score: 7

10:02am Tue 27 May 14

anarchagranny says...

Go for it. If teachers can't/won't do it for themselves, you do it for them and lead the way. What is the worst punishment they can do to you? A couple of days suspension. Strength to you all.
Go for it. If teachers can't/won't do it for themselves, you do it for them and lead the way. What is the worst punishment they can do to you? A couple of days suspension. Strength to you all. anarchagranny
  • Score: 7

1:28pm Tue 27 May 14

cherished says...

Once the school head makes the decision, there is little to be done to change this. The governors only do what the head says as well!
Once the school head makes the decision, there is little to be done to change this. The governors only do what the head says as well! cherished
  • Score: 0

6:22pm Wed 28 May 14

Dan0702 says...

anthonywilson wrote:
mumcabs wrote:
Absolutely ridiculous, and the parents should be supporting the school, NOT the pupils. It's rubbish that schools go downhill when they become Academies. Look at Harris Academy !!!!!!
Are you so sure about that with academy school's ?http://www.sthelens

reporter.co.uk/news/

local/failing-school

-placed-in-special-m

easures-1-6588368

There's plenty of other examples of academy schools' going to pot .
There are plenty of schools going to 'pot' that are maintained schools!

Some of the best schools in the country are academies!!
[quote][p][bold]anthonywilson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mumcabs[/bold] wrote: Absolutely ridiculous, and the parents should be supporting the school, NOT the pupils. It's rubbish that schools go downhill when they become Academies. Look at Harris Academy !!!!!![/p][/quote]Are you so sure about that with academy school's ?http://www.sthelens reporter.co.uk/news/ local/failing-school -placed-in-special-m easures-1-6588368 There's plenty of other examples of academy schools' going to pot .[/p][/quote]There are plenty of schools going to 'pot' that are maintained schools! Some of the best schools in the country are academies!! Dan0702
  • Score: -2

7:31pm Mon 2 Jun 14

UKIP_97 says...

It is sad that when an institution such as Crown Woods College tries to progress you always get a bunch of left-wing delusional students who are afraid of change and would sooner see us back to the 1970's. I think that the strikers should be dragged back into class by the teachers for they are simply being influenced by their parents and have not made their own decisions. This is about as democratic as North Korea. Mrs Thatcher would be turning in her grave...
"I see red"- Joseph McCarthy
It is sad that when an institution such as Crown Woods College tries to progress you always get a bunch of left-wing delusional students who are afraid of change and would sooner see us back to the 1970's. I think that the strikers should be dragged back into class by the teachers for they are simply being influenced by their parents and have not made their own decisions. This is about as democratic as North Korea. Mrs Thatcher would be turning in her grave... "I see red"- Joseph McCarthy UKIP_97
  • Score: -2

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