Why we should shun academies

Rosie Baker at York College Freshers fair

Letter in York Press by Rosie Baker

I AM writing in support of public, non-marketised education. “Save the NHS” is better known than “Save our Schools” but I wholly support Cllr Crawshaw’s campaign on this and his shunning of academies.

My Fishergate Green Party councillors are opposed to academies; teachers’ unions are opposed to academies; even Ofsted’s Sir Michael Wilshaw lamented recently how academy chains marginalise the local authority’s duty of care and democracy.

Academy oversight is left to one “regional schools commissioner” (London- based) viewing children as little more than numbers on screens.

Academy bosses can profit by spending taxpayer cash on contracting companies linked to themselves or family to provide services.

Schools receive the same amount of funding – no extra money – only worrying “efficiencies” to look forward to.

Proposed aims for improvement are governance, leadership and use of resources, not the most important element of education according to an Institute of Education professor, the quality of teaching: this is what would mean most to my child.

Research shows six out of 10 academy chains have below-average attainment for children from disadvantaged backgrounds: I have little confidence the distraction and expense of conversion will address this for the most vulnerable children.

Rosie Baker,
St George’s School parent,
Kensal Rise, York

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