Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Royal Docks School...And a Hedge Fund

A few weeks back we blogged on the issue of the airport disrupting childrens education. We asked for someone to help those fantastic teachers and kids down at the Royal Docks School.The noise and pollution that the school is exposed to is in breach of EU laws and WHO guidelines. But LB Newham and this government, including Boris Johnson, Mayor of London don't care!
Well it looks like Fat Cat Goodings' friend Weasel Wales is going to do something about it to stop his buddy being embarrassed by the school anymore - He's flogging it off to a Hedge Fund!Teachers and unions are up in arms at the Weasel wanting to turn the school into Newhams' first Academy.

"ARK is an American and British sponsor run by a group of billionaire and millionaire merchant bankers, hedge fund operators and currency speculators. First on the list of ARK corporate sponsors is Aspect Capital. Aspect funds are (according to their website) ‘organised as exempted companies incorporated with limited liability in the Cayman Islands, the investment activities of the funds are not regulated or otherwise overseen by the Caymans Islands’ government or any other regulator.’

Another offshore account holding company in the Royal Docks? We already have the Airport landowners using facilities in offshore Jersey accounts!

" The Royal Docks School has a very high proportion of special needs children. We feel an academy would use permanent exclusions to reduce that figure significantly, as has happened in many academies in an effort to improve exam results. There is no compulsion on an academy to admit pupils with special educational needs. The easier way to turn the reputation of an academy around is to change its pool of students; to alter who it recruits and to deselect those it does not wish to retain, by use of exclusion"

And we already know that Newham failed to do a Race Equality Impact Study for the Royal Docks in the airports expansion plans, so LB Newham are clearly out of touch with their communities. Perhaps the easiest way to help this school and it's pupils is to reduce the excessive noise and air pollution levels overhead! Excessive noise levels from aviation sources have been proven to affect chidren's development.

So Weasel Wales the autocrat continues to suck up to big business, so that big business can suck out the life of Newham, whilst making a tidy packet of profit. In the process the taxpayer will end up supporting a company in making huge profits - we do after all pay the LCA security bill and the rather generous tax breaks that aviation receive.

You can download all the information on the anti-academy plans here including a petition. Unfotunately, as we learned the hard way in LB Newham a petition is conveniently only ever counted as ONE complaint - Our 2 petitions with over 600 signatures were only classed as TWO complaints during the planning process.

Help them, help the children.