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Tory councillors criticise academy schools 'diktat'

Discussion in 'Education news' started by chelsea2, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    So, are the worms about to turn......

    'Plans to turn every state school in England into an academy have been criticised by Conservative councillors.
    Several have called for the policy to be reversed, including the councillor responsible for education in David Cameron's Oxfordshire constituency.
    Melinda Tilley denounced the "diktats from above" and said the policy could put small village schools at risk.
    The government has said schools must become academies or be in the process of converting by the end of 2020.
    Chancellor George Osborne made the announcement during the Budget but, after being forced to abandon his plans for disability cuts because of Conservative opposition, he now faces pressure over another key feature of his speech.
    Ms Tilley told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I'm fed up with diktats from above saying you will do this and you won't do that. This is not why I became a Conservative."
    One normally loyal MP said: "When you have a decent local authority and broadly speaking have good schools and good leadership why on earth would you force people down this route?"
    Schools minister Nick Gibb told Today the proposals were aimed at giving "more autonomy to professionals" who would be freed from "interference from the local authority".
    He said "the winning formula" of multi-academy trusts would be used to "change weaker schools" run by local authorities.
    "You can't have two systems. You have to have one consistent system," he said.
    "There are many weak local authorities that have not been as rigorous on ensuring that under-performing schools improve the academic standards of the children as they should be."
    Another unnamed MP said the move would remove competition from the education system, and added that ministers would face pressure from backbenchers to abandon the plans.
    There are also concerns that schools will no longer be obliged to have parents among their governors.
    A Department for Education spokesman said: "To drive up standards we will encourage more schools to work together in multi-academy trusts so they share resources, staff and expertise."
    The department says the trusts will better support small rural schools.
    Roger Gough, Conservative councillor in charge of education in Kent, said: "I don't think there is demonstrable evidence that there is a systemic improvement in performance and certainly not anything that would justify upheaval on this scale."
    Conservative Peter Edgar, from Hampshire County Council, said: "To force all schools would be ridiculously expensive and in my view the wrong thing to do and also could cause in the interim a drop in standards in all our schools.
    "This was not in the [Conservatives' election] manifesto," he said. "This is a step too far."
    Laura McInerney, editor of Schools Week magazine, told Today the conversion process would be "quite expensive" and legal fees could be "huge".
    She said there was a feeling that money the Treasury had earmarked for conversion costs "isn't enough".'
  2. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Councillors should be worried because schools being academies is just the first step in the great privatisation scandal. Social services, housing and even the bins will eventually go the same way.
  3. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    I suspect that this was predictable. I seem to keep saying that they really haven't thought this through. suspect that there won't be yet another U-Turn - but I might be wrong.
  4. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    Shedman likes this.
  5. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Thanks for posting. Nick Robinson skewered him with the fastest improving schools statistics but give Nick Gibb his due, he had fully learned his political advisers briefing before the interview and was able to wriggle out of it just. I wish my students revised as well as that for their exams
  6. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    I could not help but think of this song when reading about Nick Gibb.

    Shedman likes this.
  7. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    They keep repeating this absolute lie that academisation gives schools more "autonomy" - despite the evidence that MATs control schools with an iron grip.
    wanet and phlogiston like this.
  8. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    A very appropriate first line:

    I started a joke which started the whole world crying!
    wanet likes this.
  9. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    School autonomy is one of the big lies - a bit like a dictatorship calling itself the Democratic Republic of xxx or a timeworn car being a 'good runner'.

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