A few days after an article appeared in The Daily Telegraph, once more reiterating David Cameron’s commitment to academies, it’s a good time to remind everyone that there is no evidence of a magic ‘academy effect’. Anyone reading this blog is probably convinced of this but, as always, it’s good to see the arguments stated clearly so that we can, in turn, use them to influence those who are yet to be convinced or who are simply unaware.
Below is a link to an article written by Henry Stewart of Local Schools Network and published in the Guardian on 5 June.
In the Telegraph article, Cameron makes the usual unfounded assertions and peddles familiar untruths. He talks about giving schools the ‘opportunity’ to become academies when the recent Education and Adoption Bill is aimed at clearing away impediments to allowing the Secretary of State to MAKE schools become academies under a ‘chain’ chosen by her. Cameron repeats the nonsense of ‘local authority control’ when, of course, LAs haven’t had any ‘control’ since the eighties and, ironically, it’s the edubusiness ‘chains’ that are controlling without any democratic accountability.
In the Telegraph article
Cameron also talks about giving headteachers freedom to ‘set their own curriculum and pay their staff properly’ : yes, that one had us choking on our cornflakes, too! It’s never been clear how a freedom to set one’s own curriculum would work or have any benefit. As for ‘paying staff properly’ after Osborne has restricted public service pay to 1%, the only way of adding to this would further erode the money available for educational and other resources in school, since the Conservatives are only committed to a ‘cash’ flatlining in educational budgets. This means that the additional costs of the measly one per cent plus the extra National Insurance payments will eat into hard-pressed school budgets.
It is utter tosh, intended to make the Telegraph readers feel warm and content.