The government are using ‘brokers’ to tour schools that they consider to be ‘underperforming’. According to the DfE their remit is to:
“have conversations with local authorities to explore whether an academy is the right solution for schools below the floor and/or those in an Ofsted category. There are also OSC sponsor brokers who work with OSC brokers to agree an appropriate sponsor package for each project in development.”
We have recieved many reports about the activities of these brokers. Very few would say that they felt they had been involved in a ‘conversation’. Most are being told that they have no choice but to become academies. These brokers are Gove’s fixers, bullying schools into complying.
So how many of them are there? This question was asked in Parliament recently:
Academies – Dave Anderson (Lab, Blaydon):To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many officials of his Department work on the brokerage of sponsored academies; and how many such officials are being recruited to such roles.
Schools Minister, Nick Gibb: There are currently 37 FTE officials in DFE in the Department’s Brokerage and Underperformance Divisions. There are currently three vacancies in this area of the Department that we are taking steps to fill.
So Michael Gove has 40 people employed simply to tour our schools bullying them into becoming academies. He needs so many because schools don’t want to become academies that they need a team of ‘brokers’ to persuade them.