Better Schools for All – Not Academies

The current enthusiasm for Academy schools is misplaced and will lead to more control over education by Government say the Greens.

Keith Ross of Swansea Green Party said, “The move towards academy schools will widen the educational gap between rich and poor. There is no intention to properly resource schools in areas with the greatest needs under this scheme.

“Under targeted policies, there would be far more assurance that lessons meet the needs of the children and society and assurance that children are not cherry picked to make schools look good.

“The Government’s claim that academies are raising standards is not proven. Covert and overt admissions and exclusion practices enable academies to skew their intakes in favour of those from higher-achieving backgrounds. Local authorities can ‘direct’ maintained schools to accept special needs children but can only ‘ask’ academies. There is also increasing evidence of academies excluding more children than maintained schools.

“Academies are not covered by general education law, which means that their students and parents have fewer rights than those of schools in the maintained sector. The sponsoring body of any academy has the power to appoint the majority of governors. Academies have high staff turnover rates, and staff in academies can be prey to discriminatory employment practices. Teachers and support staff working in academies deserve the same protection as those working in the maintained sector.

“Education is a basic right and one that must be protected, governed properly and accountable, not privatised and made unaccountable.

“While Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, is slashing the rebuilding of hundreds of schools around the country he is promising extra money for any school that becomes an Academy. The divisive nature of this highlights our concerns about the tendency towards greater social segregation. We are also concerned that the government will use the October comprehensive spending review to put academies and free schools at the top of the priority list.”

Notes:
1. Research by Stephen Machin and James Bernoit of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics (reported in Evening Standard, 12th July 2010.
2. Further information available at:
http://www.antiacademies.org.uk/Home/why-we-oppose-academies

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