Democracy and Accountability Under Attack in Education

The government is moving fast on all fronts to attack democratic processes. It has been announced that a new Bill will be put before Parliament to force all schools rated inadequate by Ofsted to become academies. The government is quite open about its intent to remove accountability and consultation by law.

The Government says that the Education and Adoption Bill will seek to “remove bureaucratic and legal loopholes” that slow up the process of turning failing schools into academies. They have in fact admitted they are fed up with schools, unions and parents contesting the process, saying that campaigners do this for ideological reasons. Their agenda is of course completely ideological and in no way has the interests of children at its heart. The requirement for potential academy sponsors to consult with the local community would be scrapped.

This is everything to do with centralisation and privatisation and nothing to do with improving schools.  The Education Secretary Nicky Morgan wouldn’t give a number for academies which are currently failing, but the process of handing over schools to private sponsors in no way guarantees improvement and nor does changing headteachers, which is also suggested.

NAHT leader Russell Hobby summarises the issue accurately when he says that government had once again resorted to“sanctions and threats when our education system desperately needs investment and support”.

“Parents who have campaigned against the opaque and centralised process of academisation will be dismayed to see themselves dismissed as obstacles to be eliminated.”

Unions, parents and schools will need to work together and demand the return of local accountability and control via Local Authorities.

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