9 May 2011

Academies are not the answer

Tom Johnson, a resident of Ruscombe, writing in the SNJ last week questioned the move to academies as they lack accountability. I totally agree. It seems locally Marling School are already considering the move.

The Green Party has always spoken in favour of greater freedom for the school to decide how it is run. However this does not and must not mean putting the running of the school into the hands of a private sponsor who may know nothing or very little about education, and taking the power away from parents and teachers who have little representation on the governing body at an Academy. We should be improving the quality of every local school for all children -  rather than speeding up Labour's programme of academies to deepen divisions between schools.

Rachel Fryer, the Greens' education spokesperson, said last year: "Time and again Greens and others have asked why the freedoms and funding attached to Academies cannot be given without the strings of creeping privatisation and millionaire sponsors attached. Yet no answer is given."

Caroline Lucas attempted to make a number of amendments to the Bill last summer - see here. Sadly none of these sensible additions were adopted. It is no wonder that the National Union of Teachers have described the bill as an "attack on the very existence of democratically accountable, free state comprehensive education."

You can read more about the cross-party campaign against academies here.

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