According to an editorial in the Guardian
“Nicky Morgan is wrong to remove parents’ right to object to a school being forced to convert to an academy”
This is not only wrong – it’s an outrage. This is the antithesis of democracy – snatching schools from local control and accountability and allowing a politician, who has only a background and expertise in economics and finance, with NO career experience of education, to hand the governance of schools to chains of companies formed to run “academies”. This is what is being proposed in the latest education bill that’s making its way through Parliament. This is only possible as a result of the many extra powers that Michael Gove gave to himself in the 2010 education Bill – which opposition politicians allowed or enabled him to pass into law.
For this reason we went along to Committee Room 13 in the House of Commons on Monday evening to take part in a meeting convened by the Anti-Academies Alliance.
Research by the Local Schools Network shows that “conversion” to academy status does NOT raise test results as much as those of community schools. Henry Stewart (@happyhenry) gave an excellent presentation with many charts and graphs that paint the true picture.
This was powerful evidence for those who, like us, advocate community oversight of schools – not removal of schools from local networks.
However, we still need to insist that academic scores alone do not present a true picture of the work that schools do to ensure the all-round education of their students.
“The strongest predictor of a satisfying adult life was the child’s emotional health. Next came social behaviour, and least important was academic achievement.” This is a quote from Richard Layard, which we reported in our previous post – Inequality of Wellbeing
The Confederation of British Industry has also highlighted the importance of non-test outcomes of education in its First Steps report on our system of education:
It was good to see Clive Lewis MP (Labour) and Caroline Lucas MP (Green Party) sitting side by side, supporting this meeting.
“This Bill isn’t about what works best for children – it’s about handing over education to private companies” – Clive Lewis
“There is no case that becoming an academy improves children’s education” – Caroline Lucas
See also Clive Lewis’ maiden speech to the Commons:
“We need a road show to spread awareness” – Caroline Lucas
We also need everyone to spread awareness on Twitter and in blogs. We need to write to and to meet with MPs. Oppose this Bill in every way possible.