Great to have Vix Lothian (Green Party education spokesperson) and Prof. Anne West (LSE) co-author with David Woolfe of ‘Academies, the school system in England and a vision for the future’ (published last week and showing academies to have fewer freedoms than LA schools), speaking at this event on Saturday (Labour Party invited to speak).
Together with speakers from from campaigns like the successful ones in Newham, this should be a positive and forward-looking conference that will suggest ways in which we can continue the fight against academisation and halt the destruction that it has wreaked on our education system.
The majority of academies have less freedom than before they converted, according to researchers.
A study published today also says there is a lack of transparency about the way academies are run and that the programme opens the door to “abuse of funds”.
The findings are based on research by a London School of Economics academic (LSE) and a leading education lawyer.
Almost a third of state schools have become academies since the coalition government expanded the programme in 2010.
The research says the policy aimed to give schools more freedom, but has resulted in 70 per cent of academies having less freedom than before – because they are run by multi-academy trusts.
It says maintained schools run by local authorities are more autonomous than MAT-run academies.
A litany of problems with teaching, safeguarding and pupil recruitment have forced a flagship free school to close down.
On Tuesday, teachers, students and parents were informed that The Discovery School, in Newcastle, would shut its doors for good by the end of August.
Government withdrew funding for the specialist STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) school ahead of its second-ever Ofsted report, which is expected to brand the institution ‘Inadequate’ once again.
Opened in 2014, with a reported £9m spent on its creation, the free school invited students from across the North East to experience an “alternative option to a traditional school” focusing on engineering and technological subjects and working closely with industry.
But it was slammed by Ofsted inspectors in July 2017 for its “narrow and unbalanced” curriculum which was “failing to meet pupils’ needs”.
full article here
Free schools are failing to fulfil the programme’s original vision of being innovative or parent-led, according to new research published today.
The study shows that both primary and secondary free schools have lower proportions of disadvantaged pupils than their catchment areas.