Academies – is the future of the nations education safe in their hands?

According to the government yes and educationalists mostly no. Should we be worried about it? In my view yes we should it’s as big an issue for Britain and it’s future as Brexit, Immigration and terrorism.

That’s a bold statement but government’s have always struggled with education policy and it’s successful implementation. The more changes that have been made to make it more effective and successful the further we have slid down the international education league tables.

Academies have have had some great successes and some spectacular failures. Given that up to now they have had more resources and autonomy than state schools the explanations on the failures is quite poor and virtually non existent. That would not be acceptable for state schools.

The government is quick to tell us that one size doesn’t fit all and various solutions are needed to modern issues and problems that face business, government and society. So why when education has always been a huge problem for governments does this government think one size fits all for our schools?

I am an optimist and I hope for our children, businesses and the country that they are right and academies deliver what ministers say they will. However I am a realist and judging on past performance I suspect it will be an experiment that will fail. By the time we realise that academies are not working for many a generation or more of children will have lost out.

The education minister Nicky Morgan said that if we vote to leave the EU it will have a devastating effect on our young people’s life chances. If the academies experiment goes wrong it will have that effect whether we vote to remain or leave the EU.

10-nicky-morgan-afpget

The way the government is going about this smacks of a communist state, little or no consultation, only one option and parents having less say with no parent governors. Not what one would expect of a conservative government. There are already two petitions with more than a 100,000 signatures against the proposals and planned demonstrations in the pipeline.

Some of the governments comments make sense but many are already being implemented. Schools are grouping together and sharing knowledge and expertise as well as sharing problems within their areas.

Yes schools still need to be teaching real world skills so that young people are “employment” ready when they leave. Businesses can help in this as partners in a structured way. But running schools? Is big business really interested in giving our children a rounded education that will give them better life chances? Or is it a way of big firms making money reducing choice and transparency and ultimately responsibility and accountability whilst milking the taxpayer?

Everyone should read Liverpool Echo reporter Tom Belger’s report on Halewood Academy. No communication, no one is responsible and going to the local authority and even the government does not work. They are not responsible for academies, this is the possible frightening future.

I will conclude by saying I am against all schools being forced to become academies. Those that wish to should be supported as well as those that don’t. I don’t believe one size fits all.

Sources

New Education system and Acadamisation White Paper – Department of Education

Nicky Morgan under fire over Mumsnet post on academisationThe Guardian

Leaving EU ‘devastating for young’, says Nicky Morgan – BBC

A Tale of trying to hold an acadamy to account – The Liverpool Echo

Minister Backs Swindon Academy – Swindon Advertiser

PISA tests UK Stagnates – BBC

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