Colmore parent Bethan Drew has posted the following on the Ask Colmore Parents Facebook group: “With regard to one point on the letter that sports and music will get “pushed out” because of the new curriculum. I am music coordinator at a school with excellent music, we have over 150 children learn instruments, we have choirs, ukulele clubs and children all learn the recorder. And we are teaching the new curriculum. Feel free to quote me.”
No democratic accountability
Academies are not democratically or locally accountable. They operate outside local authority control so they are not accountable to our locally elected representatives. IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG PARENTS HAVE NOBODY TO TURN TO. In addition the governing body of an Academy is appointed rather than elected and can include as few as 2 parent governors (a local authority school has elected governors, a third of whom must be parents). Coupled with enormous freedoms, this lack of accountability is a dangerous mix.
No legal rights for parents or pupils
Pupils and parents in maintained schools are protected by education law, but the vast majority of these safeguards do not apply in academies. This is because an academy is a company which operates under a contract with the government. The only people who have legal rights are those who are party to the contract (known as the funding agreement), ie. the Academy Trust and the Secretary of State for Education. PARENTS AND PUPILS DO NOT HAVE ANY LEGAL RIGHTS UNDER THE FUNDING AGREEMENT.
No demonstrated educational benefits
Despite the DfE’s propaganda machine churning out miracle success stories about individual Academies and claims that Academies improve attainment, in fact the government’s own commissioned report by the National Audit Office found that there is no evidence of any educational benefit in becoming an Academy. There is evidence however, that…
Academies widen the gap between the most and least advantaged pupils
There is also a lot evidence that Academies change their intake to reduce the number of pupils on their rolls who receive free school meals or who have special educational needs. How will this help Brandwood?
The academies programme is privatisation.
When a school becomes an academy the ownership of the publicly funded property (land, buildings & equipment) is transferred to the private sector – and these assets are given away for free! The government wants all schools to become Academies either by force or choice. The Academies programme is part of the government’s agenda of creating a new education marketplace. Michael Gove does not object to schools themselves being run for profit and a leaked memo last year showed that he is considering this. Edu-businesses including for-profit companies from the US and Sweden are here in the UK now ready to make a profit out of our schools. This will mean the end of education as a public good. The prime concern of these schools will be competing in the marketplace, when it should be the education and wellbeing of our children.
For other interested in finding out what NASWT has to say about the pros and cons…