Angry parents spoke out against turning a Birmingham primary school into an academy as its teachers prepare to strike tomorrow.
The parents of children at Montgomery School, in Sparkbrook, said they feared losing decision-making powers.
They were also concerned any privatised education could be ruled by costs.
Mohammed Ashraf, who has one child at the school and one due to go there, said: “Where you take a school away from the public to give it to the private sector it’s never a good idea for our children’s future because the returns will always come from their education.”
Javed Khan, whose three children are at the school, was worried parents could become cut off if the school’s status changed.
He said: “The local parents would be able to say nothing and as an academy they will be making their own rules and regulations.”
The heated discussion broke out during a meeting of Sparkbrook Neighbourhood Forum yesterday when representatives from both sides made speeches.
Coun Victoria Quinn (Lab, Sparkbrook) is a governor at the school and told the meeting she would oppose the idea of academies in theory.
She added: “It’s wrong to privatise anything to do with our children but we are over a barrel of a gun here.”
If there was an alternative, she said the governors would take it.
She said the school was looking for sponsors but had “bought time” to stall the Department for Education and the city council.
She added: “If the DfE and local authority impose there will be no choice because they can impose a sponsor.”
She called tomorrow’s strike “unfortunately pre-emptive”.
David Room, deputy general secretary of Birmingham NUT argued there was no pressure on the school to become an academy.
He said: “There are other means of supporting schools and raising standards.”
He added the vast majority of teachers would be taking action.
“If the head and governors aren’t listening what can they do?”