The forced Academisation of schools is bad news for lots of reasons.
It is undemocratic- it ignores the local mandate given to Local Authorities. It ignores the views of parents and governors. It ignores the views of the profession.
It is wasteful- there are lots of examples of poor financial management of Academy schools. Some academy chains are top heavy with management and consultants. Money that should be spent on pupils is spent elsewhere.
OFSTED Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw highlighted serious weaknesses at seven multi-academy trusts in a hard-hitting letter to the education secretary. He said the trusts were sitting on millions of pounds that should be used to raise standards.
It does not raise standards. Lots of schools causing concern are a part of Academy chains. OfSTED has pointed the finger at seven poorly performing academy chains where there are serious weaknesses.
It will not attract good teachers. Academies can ignore national agreements and change teachers’ terms and conditions. We have a national shortage of teachers and head teachers. We have issues with teacher retention. Many existing teachers are thinking about quitting. Why? Because teaching is no longer child centred. Teachers are having to teach a narrowed down curriculum, to teach to formulas, to teach to tests, to spend too much time on marking. The result is stressed teachers, stressed children and stressed parents.
I urge schools, teachers, head teachers, governing bodies to look at alternatives within the legislation. Cooperative schools maintain local control of schools. The teachers, the staff , the learners and the parents own the school. The schools become part of a network of schools all based on cooperative values.
Encouraging all within the organisation to help each other, by working together to gain mutual benefits. Helping people to help themselves.
To take responsibility for, and answer to, our actions
To give our stakeholders a say in the way we run our school
Equal rights and benefits according to their contribution
Being fair and unbiased
Supporting each other and those in other co-operatives.