Tag Archives: education

David Laws highlights continuing threat of forced academisation

David Laws is quoted in today’s Independent. The former Schools Minister is discussing a Centre Forum analysis of the Government’s education white paper.

Centre Forum says that the Government’s alleged u-turn will just mean that the process will happen anyway as local authorities are taken out of the picture if it’s not viable to run schools if, for example, a critical mass has converted to academy status.

New analysis of the revised strategy, however, suggests this will have accumulative effect on schools – as more schools are converted, more local authorities will be taken over as a result.

In effect, 100 per cent of schools will still be converted into academies by the year 2020 as planned.

David Laws, Executive Chairman of CentreForum, who published the report, said: “Our initial analysis shows that their proposals for new ‘triggers’ that lead to forced academisation in a local authority will in all likelihood lead to thousands of schools becoming academies as a result.”

The think tank said the analysis was dependent on the Government’s definition of what constitutes as an “underperforming local authority”, however – a concept which has not yet been defined by the department.

“The definitions are vague,” the report noted, “and our own analysis has shown that relatively small changes could have implications for hundreds of schools.”

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Value for Money and Power Education

No action can have a single consequence.

Can the stated purpose of an action distract us from considering its several unstated/understated consequences?

Can unstated consequences be unstated purposes?

Can/does the iceberg profundity of the governmental decision/action to academise all English schools have a single consequence/purpose?

Academisation of our schools involves more than education. It also involves money, property, power, politics, cartel-control, democratic freedom, governance and accountability, to name but some of the areas of our lives it affects/controls, now in the future.

Some questions:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 17 Comments

Nick Clegg chairs meeting on educational inequality in Sheffield

Back in January, the Social Market Foundation, a think tank, established its cross-party Commission on Inequality in Education. It wants to tackle the disparity of attainment and break down barriers it identified relating to where you live, your family’s income and your ethnicity.

Yesterday, Nick chaired a meeting  of the Commission at Sheffield Hallam University.

Nick said:

On launching the commission, our research showed that where young people live now has more impact on their performance at school than used to be the case.

It is not just the relative wealth of parents that holds lots of bright kids back: it is postcode inequality too. What part of the country a child grows up in has a real impact on their life chances.

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Why Liberal Democrats oppose the Cameron government’s education reforms

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society. For our party, a strong education system, freely available to all, is the key to building the society we strive towards.

This year, David Cameron’s government has announced an extensive programme of reform to the British school system, including the much publicised forced conversion of all schools to academy status, the resulting abolition of the Local Education Authorities, the removal of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), the end of parent governors and the extension of the school day.

Currently any opposition to the education reforms are being attacked by Nicky Morgan’s Department for Education as “playing politics with our children’s future”. This comes despite these sweeping reforms having been brought forward with almost no consultation with teachers or with parents. The scale of these reforms were not included within the 2015 Conservative General Election manifesto and therefore there is no clear mandate.

Liberal Democrats are committed to strengthening the democratic process and ensuring that there is a just and representative system of government. The Cameron government appears to be showing a total disregard for our democratic processes. This alone gives our liberal party ample reason to oppose these reforms until they have been subject to proper consultation and discussion.
However, reviewing the basis and impact of the proposals raises further significant concerns.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 10 Comments

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:

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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.

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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
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