Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ministers 'Failing' Schools Gimmick

Schools secretary Balls' latest academy plan for 'failing schools' is a cheap gimmick, a government wheeze to privatise state education and put it in the hands of the 'education' business.

New Labour has squandered millions of pounds on education over the past decade and little has been achieved. How embarrassing.

The much vaunted 'flagship' plan for academies is stalling. It's not working fast enough for its architect, Lord Adonis. So schools are being unfairly stigmatised as 'failing' as a pathetic excuse to hand them over to the vast army of education consultants and bureaucrats in privately managed academies.

This has nothing to do with raising standards or performance and everything to do with the half-baked ideas of politicians who are systematically undermining English state schools to save face and put their own political self-interest over the education of children.

The cull is targeting one in five secondary schools in England, so in two years time (election time?) almost one in 10 secondary schools will have academy status.

The teaching unions are rightly indignant and reject the "focus on failure and closure". These schools are not failing. They just haven't met the ridiculous and unrealistic targets set by this government.

The education of our children should not be in the hands of politicians looking for cheap headlines and education consultants after a quick buck. Academies and trust schools are part of the problem, not the solution.

Maybe Edward Michael 'call me Ed' Balls (independent public school and Keble College, Oxford) and Andreas 'Lord' Adonis (independent public school and Keble College, Oxford) should listen to what the real and realistic education professionals have to say, starting with the Campaign for Real Education.

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