Category Archives: Blog
We shouldn’t be surprised that the Government’s Free Schools programme is failing. Failure is built in to the system: it’s a natural – even desirable – consequence of the English education market designed by Gove and his soon to be ex-advisor Dominic Cummings. He’s the man who implemented the policy while working for the DfE and is now leaving to set up his own free school.
The Conservative party is being asked to consider for-profit free schools after 2015. Groups of parents would form “co-operatives” to run a free school and then be able to pay themselves dividends if the school did not spend its budget. Steve Baker MP, Chair of the public service policy board of the influential 1922 Committee, says without a hint of irony “The people who should own a public service are the people who use it.”
Gove has indicated that he has no stomach for a fight. He has backed down in the face of sustained and escalating protest.
Parents at Downhills Primary School in Tottenham caused Ministers to reject advice from their own civil servants, according to a briefing document leaked to the Guardian from the Department for Education. Concerned about the rising cost of forcing unpopular private academy chains on to unwilling communities, DfE officials had suggested abandoning the project.
The Secretary of State for Education has hitched his fortunes to the success of “free” schools. So after the debacle at Pimlico primary yesterday, Gove and his sidekick Lord Nash must be feeling a little seasick.
One of the additional hazards of being an unpopular education minister is that the people who work for you can sometimes want to torpedo you.
Last week the Anti-Academies Alliance received, anonymously, a pile of documents through the post. We are not sure where the data comes from or its veracity. But having, analysed it we believe Mr Gove has some questions to answer.