Before 2010

This is archive material from before the 2010 general election, when the Conservatives came to power. We have kept it for reference, but please remember that it refers to policies and events under the previous Labour government.

Friday 7 May 2010

Why we oppose Academies

There are now 203 academies open across the country. Below we list the reasons we oppose them.

Raising Standards?
The government’s claim that academies are raising standards and that their results are improving faster than in other schools is not proven because the data is kept secret. Furthermore, such data that it has been possible to acquire indicates that the government’s claim is wide open to critical challenge.

Selective Admissions
Covert and overt admissions and exclusion practices enable academies to skew their intakes in favour of those from higher-achieving backgrounds.
Local authorities can ‘direct’ maintained schools to accept special needs and looked-after children but can only ‘ask’ academies.

Increased Exclusions
There is increasing evidence of academies excluding more children than maintained schools.

Evading Education Law
Academies are not covered by general education law which means that their students and parents have fewer rights than those of schools in the maintained sector.  Academies should be brought under the umbrella of general education law and the recently published education and skills bill should be the vehicle used to achieve this.

No Democracy
Rushed, flawed and manipulated consultation processes show a complete disregard of the views of local people. There is no democratic ballot for parents and teachers within the consultation process.

Governance Arrangements
The sponsor has the power to appoint the majority of governors.
Academies are only required to appoint one parent and one staff governor and they are rarely representative of the communities they are supposed to serve.

Staff Terms and Conditions
Academies have high staff turnover rates, and staff in academies can be prey to discriminatory employment practices. Teachers and support staff working in academies deserve the same protection as those working in the maintained sector.

The Power of the Sponsor
The sponsor gains almost absolute power once a school acquires academy status. They take control of public assets – the buildings and the land.

Social Segregation
OECD research suggests that where schools systems have a greater diversity of types of school, there is a greater tendency towards more social segregation.

An Unproven Experiment
The academy programme remains hotly contested. Lord Hattersley has warned that academies will create a ‘hierarchy’ of schools.

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3 comments

  1. alan massam said:

    I feel that education should be organised to benefit a whole community as has been the practice until the introduction of academies and free schools. It seems to me likely that they “favoured” schools will benefit from better dunding at the expense of other schools in a district. This would be socially disruptive. What is the evidence upon which Mr Gove has introduced these radical changes?

    31 October 2011 at 7:01pm
  2. Charmaine Morgan said:

    Our daughter’s school – Little Gonerby Infants CofE School, Grantham is planning to get Academy Status. As parents we received a detailed letter giving all the reasons why school should go for it and nothing opposing this.

    This is not good enough. At the very least schools should give parents a balanced view.

    Thanks for the arguments on this site. We will be using them.

    Charmaine

    22 May 2012 at 3:58pm
  3. Keith Moore said:

    take a look at Goole High School(east Yorks),when it recieved academy status in 2011 it was rated good in all four areas, December 2013 catastrophic ofsted report placing the school into special measures, many parents claim they got no information on the ofsted report, and many did not realise the council had no authority over the running of the school

    27 March 2014 at 2:55pm

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