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From Free School to Chattel

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Vince_Ulam, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter


    School’s out for Harris academy teachers in turnover that ‘should ring alarm bells’

    (Guardian.com, 13th October 2015.)

    Regarding the Harris Federation of academies, a Freedom of Information request by the Anti-Academies Alliance has shown that, 1,262 teachers left in the interval of 2012 and 2015. Harris currently hold thirty-seven schools with a further two in the pipeline yet according to figures in the linked article 1,262 is more than twice the national rate of turnover.

    Given this evidence that the academy programme is proceeding according to many people's expectations, I have a question for the in-service teachers reading this: Can you conceive of any circumstances under which you would welcome the umbrella of any academy chain?
  2. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    N.B. The title of this discussion is irrelevant to the post and was intended for another discussion. Unfortunately this cannot be changed in edit but should have read: Sorry You're Leaving

    If a member of staff would change the title for me as above then I'd be grateful.

    @TES_Rosaline @TES_Will
  3. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    It would be interesting to know whether this is the norm, or particular to Harris. Having spent a brief time in a school that was part of an academy chain, my answer to your question would be an unequivocal 'no!'
    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  4. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    How funny. I just read the article @Vince_Ulam linked to. Without my glasses on I read the headline as 'Bright Bribe Trustees'.

    I seem to remember, last academic year, that there were some unsubstantiated reports of whistle blowing at Harris.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
    emerald52 likes this.
  5. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Since they don't have to take qualified teachers it would be good to know if it is the qualified, or unqualified, who are walking out. You'd have to be desperate IMHO to work there.
  6. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    I suspect that it will be a noxious mixture of more expensive staff being leaned on via PM, combining roles that used to be done by two teachers, and teachers being replaced by unquaified staff when they leave. A school I used to work at became an academy last year and staff have left simply because they find the interference from the Academy chain "leaders" intolerable.
  7. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    It's quite frightening to think of the reach that the Harris chain has across the south east. Some schools won't have a choice as the Harris chain continues to suck up every inadequate school in England.
  8. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    There's Alex flogging his fake documents on another thread. He could work there as I've suggested to him.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  9. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    From the article posted by Vince, almost a third of the staff have left! I still don't understand why academies and free schools were thought up, other than to destroy LEA's and any quality control they had.

    Given the power to control teacher conditions by the schools, this was always going to happen. What is the point of going Academy if not to make as much money as possible?

    With the news elsewhere of the exceedingly low morale and general high rate of leaving the teaching profession, it is clear that teacher conditions are now too low. Too much has been screwed out of us.

    Are the free schools turning to unqualified, or poor in other ways, cheap staff with huge classes to keep the bills down or will they respond to market forces and improve teacher conditions to save the situation and the untold damage that is being done to our children's education and future?
  10. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    As well as the staff turnover which should result in Ofsted going in there as soon as they read the figures... Here's how Harris were getting the results up using GCSE equivalents:

    The national average for 5 GCSE results at A*-C with English and Maths with equivalents removed is 53.2%.

    GCSE data: http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2012/01/26/2011KS4Publication_alldata.csv

    They also have a significantly higher rate of exclusion than the national average:
    lanokia and Vince_Ulam like this.
  11. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Good grief! How can they hold up their heads and claim to provide a good education? Are there Tory party donors involved in Harris Academies?
    lanokia and Vince_Ulam like this.
  12. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    You know, it's funny you should ask:

    'Conflicts of interest – the TUC research also reveals that at least three of the twelve largest chains of academies (schools funded and overseen directly by the government and managed independently of local authorities) have links to the Conservative Party.

    Lord Harris of the Harris Federation has been a Conservative donor, Lord Fink, a director of Ark Schools, who – like Lord Harris – is a Conservative Peer and is a former Conservative Party treasurer and major donor, and the David Ross Foundation, which was set up by the co-founder of Carphone Warehouse, who has also donated to the Party.

    The report also highlights how the academy sponsor and Conservative donor Theodore Agnew chairs the DfE’s academies board, an internal group aiming to boost the number of sponsored academies.

    (TUC.org.uk, 12 March 2014.)
  13. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    There you go! Not that I'm cynical but ......
  14. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Guess where I'm standing, everyone...!
    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  15. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter


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