Hundreds of schools are abandoning a protest against national standards in reading, writing and maths.
The schools had refused to include the standards in their charters even though they faced statutory intervention if they did not. This week, the Boards Taking Action Coalition told its members to alter their charters, but note their opposition to the standards.
The coalition says it does not want its members punished and it will now consider its next move against the policy.
Schools are certainly not “abandoning” the protest. Faced with the threat of having Boards disbanded, they are simply choosing to live to fight another day.
Coalition spokesperson Perry Rush told Morning Report it has been a ‘David and Goliath’ struggle which the boards have for now lost.
He said the boards have recognised it is not in the interest of the community to continue the fight against the ministry.
In the interview Rush mentioned the kinds of action planned for next year, and the possibility that many more schools would join it.
This has been a remarkable and high profile protest. Around 400 (a quarter of all) primary schools have taken real risks to push their protest to the limit. Faced with dissolution and “statutory management”, staying in the game now to fight on next year seems like the best outcome. The best possible outcome for children’s education, which is what it’s all about. Bravo to the Boards Taking Action Coalition, and all the best for the struggle ahead.