News and events
AAA fringe meeting at NUT Conference Saturday 19th April 12.45 Brighton Conference Centre
As you will see, the alarming failure rate in academies has left the credibility of the programme in tatters, yet it goes on like a zombie risen from the dead.
Camden schools today reported that they have no failing schools and have 95% rated good or outstanding. This is in London where schools are already known to be performing well especially for deprived pupils. And yet they have only ONE secondary academy. None of their primaries converted to academy status and they have just two new primary free schools.
Gove’s free school flagships are springing leaks at an alarming rate. Despite mounting criticism about the expense of the programme, a new free school costing £45m was revealed.
Gove’s flagship policy of allowing groups to set up schools outside the supervision of local education authorities has been the subject of a barrage of bad publicity in recent months. Four free schools have been declared inadequate by Sir Michael Wilshaw’s Ofsted, with one of those, the Discovery New School in Crawley, West Sussex, closing down last week.
We the undersigned think reports in The Independent newspaper that the Government is to spend £45 million on the Westminster School/Harris Federation Sixth Form Free School are disgraceful. School sixth forms and sixth form colleges are facing funding cuts of 20%. Ministers have the wrong priorities if they think that the £45 million cost, which equates to £160,000 per pupil, is in any way justifiable when they have axed the Education Maintenance Allowance and trebled tuition fees.
£45 million “Free” school scandal
‘At the end of the day it was Michael Gove’s decision,’ said a DfE source.
‘And no one could stop it.’
According to the Independent, a Department for Education source said that, while civil servants raised concerns over the £45m spent on a central London sixth form for just 90 students, Michael Gove was determined to push ahead with the Harris Westminster Sixth Form. Lord Harris is a former party treasurer who has donated millions to the Tories and his academy chain enjoys close relations with Gove and the Department.
The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has approved a plan to spend £45m on a free school, making it almost certainly the most expensive in the country even though it has just 500 students, The Independent has learnt.
Harris came to Haringey with glossy brochures and grand promises but next to no primary experience. Is this what Harris means by traditional values and strong discipline? Will Gove stand by Harris as children are manhandled in this way?
Just 11% of English Primary schools are academies, and primaries make up the vast bulk of schools. Clearly Michael Gove has a long way to go to reach his dream, and he is running out of time.