Home > Commentary, Education Policy > Whole scale academisation

Whole scale academisation

This post was originally published on Labour Teachers here, on 30th March 2016.

A week or so ago I came across this article in the Guardian. Apparently the government are finally ready to own up and set about forcing all remaining English schools into academisation.

I wrote here, last June, about this and how I wished they’d just get on with it and own up to it rather than trying to push little bits of legislation out at a time to achieve their overall “not so” secret aim.

The academisation of all English schools is something that fits well with the Conservative ideology of small state. They are removing local authorities from the picture and placing the money that would have been spent on LEAs into the hands of private companies – some for profit some not so.

The original idea was to get more of the money into schools, by cutting out the middle man, but as MATs have grown we see in many places that actually we’ve just replaced the middle man, only instead of one with public accountability with got ones with hidden agendas.

I’ve worked in various academies, in single school trusts, small MATs and a big MAT. My experiences have been fairly positive. The large MAT were up to something that were unacceptable, but our head was fighting for the school and successfully got us out of the trust and into a much smaller one. In the smaller ones I’ve seen people who care in the driving seat, and so they’ve been working from the right frame of reference to make the right difference.

I do worry, though, about the possibility of abuse that comes from moving the focus from LEAs who are in the public sector and accountable to private companies who can run schools more like businesses, losing the focus on education and people and moving it to the “bottom line”.

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