How a parent’s bid to save their school exposes the rotten core of our democracy

The way in which our school system has been transformed this decade has been, in its ugliest political facets, a rehearsal for the way in which our democratic norms are now being trashed. With academy schools, as with suspension of parliament, two of the key figures were Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings. In the face of widespread protest, Gove used procedures meant for emergencies like anti-terrorist laws to shove the Academies Act through parliament in just five working days.

Around half of all children in state-funded schools are now taught by an academy trust. In this new system that is hostile to democracy, one select committee complained in January that “parents and local people have to fight to obtain even basic information about their children’s schools”. And the schools are accountable not to local councillors but only to officials in Whitehall.

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Lilac Sky investigation report STILL not published

The Department for Education has failed to meet its own pledge to publish a long-awaited investigation report into a defunct academy trust.

The nine-school Lilac Sky Schools Academy Trust (LSSAT) shut in 2017 amid a government investigation into allegations of financial malpractice.

Schools Week revealed later that year how annual accounts exposed misdemeanours, including staff paid severance cash before being rehired the next day and public money spent on “luxury” booze.

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AAA National Steering Committee meeting

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Every Charter School Must Be Closed Down – Every. Single. One.

The problem with charter schools isn’t that they have been implemented badly.

Nor is it that some are for-profit and others are not.

The problem is the concept, itself.

Put simply: charter schools are a bad idea. They always were a bad idea. And it is high time we put an end to them.

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First Harris academy rated below ‘good’ as Ofsted flags entry to ‘inappropriate’ qualifications

The Harris academy trust has received its first ever Ofsted rating below ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ – with inspectors flagging how pupils were entered into “inappropriate” qualifications and the number of students leaving its roll was “too high”.

Harris Academy Orpington was rated as ‘requires improvement’ in a report published today, making it the first ever academy in the 47-school Harris trust to receive an inspection rating below ‘good’.

The report also flagged too many disadvantaged pupils were being suspended and that strict behaviour rules caused “resentment and a sense of injustice” among pupils.

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