Tag Archives: academies

Enforced academisation plan is “bonkers”

The chairman of the Conservative 1922 backbench committee and Tory councillors are reported to be angry with the government’s plan to force 17,000 schools in England to become academies by 2020.

Melinda Tilley, cabinet member for education in Oxfordshire said:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 27 Comments

John Pugh writes: Our vision for Education

Teacher In Classroom

In 2010 Michael Gove, acting before the ink was dry on the Coalition agreement, rushed the Academies Bill through Parliament. Governors were free to turn their school into an Academy Trust, without canvassing parental or local opinion . This being a little high-handed, I moved an amendment during the Commons debate requiring school governors to consult parents – particularly important  as the government were pressing on with this radical change during the school holidays.

Gaining the support of Ed Balls, then Labour party Education spokesman, I pushed it to the vote and divided the House. We lost as most of my colleagues voted against and the Whips angrily  informed me that trying to amend government legislation, however crass, was not how coalition in the Commons was meant to work. Now in 2016 we have even school governors sidelined as the Academy bandwagon, courtesy of the Tories smashes through every barrier.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 19 Comments

The Government finally “nationalises” all our schools

So the government has finally decided to nationalise our nation’s schools. At least we now know where we stand. So, if an academy fails under the new system, the buck goes straight to the Secretary of State and not, as now, to the Local Education Authority (which, I assume will simply disappear).

When are we going to stop messing about with education? We are dealing with human beings, not building motor cars, for goodness sake. I note that the current secretary, like most of her cabinet colleagues, was educated privately. In the independent sector, business acumen and PR are part of the DNA of its member schools. “Sell yourself or go under”- and a few actually do!

Some have you may be aware of the goings on at an academy chain in Lincoln where the former Executive Head and his Director of Finance recently went on trial and, to many local people’s amazement, were acquitted.  Only this week it was announced that another secondary academy, the one I taught at for 23 years, is having to face redundancies because of some of its grants being cut. Now it is planned also to remove parent representatives from governing bodies, what chance will the local community have to influence their schools?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 32 Comments

What is Nicky Morgan doing to school governance?

I’d love to know who is advising the Tories and Nicky Morgan with respect to much of what is contained in the education white paper.

What I sense overall is panic. They are terrified that we will not have the skilled individuals to make us globally competitive. So they are embarking on a series of measures that they think will give more flexibility in the education system and modernize it in terms of structure and accountability, on the one hand, but rigidly defining what children should learn, particularly at primary level, and sticking with archaic, sudden death-style …

Posted in Op-eds | 18 Comments

Avoiding the Tory disaster in Education

 

Last week, as a governor, I spent my morning at my local primary school completing an annual return and reviewing our budget for the next financial year (as an accountant, I get all the fun jobs). The atmosphere was a strange one. As a school that has successfully fought off an attempt at academy conversion, the staff were deeply upset about the grand announcement from George Osborne, that all schools will become academies by 2020. Meanwhile, our excellent Local Education Authority advisor was clearly and understandably out of sorts having just been made effectively redundant.

The policy being pushed forward by the government is going to be a disaster for primary schools, and everyone working in the sector knows this. Quite simply, the size of primary schools prevents them from having the necessary infrastructure to make an academy structure feasible. The destruction of the Local Education Authority support network will do irreparable damage to our capacity to support primary leaders in their incredibly varied roles.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 20 Comments

The Independent View: Keep academy freedoms – and extend them to all schools

schoolsignThe question whether to curtail or extend academy freedoms to state-funded schools was resurrected last October in a speech by Nick Clegg. The answer he put forward was to extend academy freedoms to all schools, albeit in a limited form. Clegg would like to claw-back the freedoms academies have over unqualified teachers and the curriculum, but to extend the remaining freedoms to all state-funded schools.

 Clegg’s new-found middle way is based on a belief that guaranteeing high standards in education is best achieved by curtailing autonomy. In October 2013, he said: “There is nothing…inconsistent in believing that greater school autonomy can be married to certain core standards for all.”

 Yet high levels of autonomy and accountability are conducive to high pupil attainment. The Deputy Director for Education and Skills at the OECD, Andreas Schleicher, has said that England’s multiple measures of accountability, along with a “high level of autonomy and discretion at the front line”, are key to success in education.

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged and | 20 Comments

Education: 47% of Lib Dems want grammar schools opened up, while clear majorities oppose academies, free schools and for-profit schools

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 750 party members responded – thank you – and we’ve been publishing the full results.

(There were a couple of results I ran out of time to publish during the Christmas holiday period – I’m publishing them this week.)

Almost half (47%) Lib Dems call for opening up of grammar schools to all children

Thinking about grammar schools and schools that select pupils by ability, which of the following best reflects your views?

    21%

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , , and | 80 Comments
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