Ten things they don’t tell you about academies
Inconvenient truths about the academy revolution.
While all eyes are on the coalition’s NHS reforms, Michael Gove’s schools revolution continues apace with little discussion. Some on the left have raised objections to the creation of “free schools” – those new schools set up by groups of parents, teachers, charities and voluntary groups and funded by the Department for Education – and argue that they will lead to a two-tier, socially segregated system.
But it’s the rise and rise of academies that is the real cause for concern. Academies are, to all intents and purposes, state-funded independent schools outside local authority control and the National Curriculum, which receive their funding directly from central government. As of March 2012, there were 1,635 academies in England, compared to 24 free schools. Most of them opened their doors from September 2010 onwards, with the blessing and encouragement of coalition ministers. More than 1.2 million pupils – one in seven pupils in state schools – now attend academies. Gove has said that the push to increase the number of academy schools “is not about ideology. It’s an evidence-based, practical solution.” Really?Here are ten things he and his supporters don’t tell you.