Passmores Head reacts to news that schools in Harlow to be forced to become academies

THE HEAD of Passmores Academy has reacted with anger that the Tory government will force all schools to become academies.

Vic Goddard said: “I think democracy and freedom to choose is an important part of our country’s heritage. I feel that the role of the LA in ensuring admissions are done fairly and that our young people with a special educational need are given the right support is vital.

“We already see academy chains around the country cherry picking who they offer places to and telling parents that they cannot meet the needs of certain children. This is both illegal and unacceptable as all schools are funded in the same way and have the same legal and moral responsibility to meet the needs of the community. My greatest fear is that without the LA being in a position to oversee these things the situation will only become worse.

“The LA is able to act as a defender of the rights of our young people at a time when it is too easy to improve a school’s position in the league table, and with Ofsted, purely by removing any young person that won’t help with results. I am fearful that this may help increase elitist and unjust behaviour by any academy that will no longer have enough scrutiny of their behaviour. I really hope that the government will consider this danger and put a system of scrutiny in place to protect our communities from such unscrupulous behaviour.

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2 Responses to "Passmores Head reacts to news that schools in Harlow to be forced to become academies"

  1. Harlow_TUC   March 21, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Vic Goddard is spot on with his views about “cherry picking who they offer places to.”

    The Anti-Academies Alliance warned long ago about the dangers of schools accepting academy status and the loss of accountability with much smaller governing bodies.

    in getting freedom over budgets, what academies failed to appreciate was that they would have to take on issues that Essex County once dealt with, such as building management, human resources, contract compliance, industrial and media relations etc. These administrative and ancillary services have to bought in or staff employed to deal with them.

    At Burnt Mill Academies Co-operative Trust we now see 140 support workers jobs at risk in an ongoing consultation exercise. Despite having Co-operative in their title, BMAT’s management board does not include any teachers, support workers or parents.

    Despite Tory government claims that education will be improved through academy status there are numerous examples of the opposite effect. Teaching unions are getting more reports that experienced mature teachers are being ‘performance managed’ out of the workplace and replaced by lesser qualified ‘Associate teachers’ or non-teacher qualified status teaching assistants.

    Claims of academies having greater autonomy clouds the fact that the curriculum needs to be taught to ensure the greatest chance of exam success for their pupils. With ever greater focus by government, Ofsted, the media and parents on exam success, how much latitude exists for delivering a rounded education?

    In a report published on 27 January 2016 the House of Commons Education Select Committee reported: “Current evidence does not allow us to draw firm conclusions on whether academies are a positive force for change. According to the research that we have seen, it is too early to judge whether academies raise standards overall or for disadvantaged children.”

  2. Pingback: Parents, School Staff and Governors Campaign Against Forced Academies in Brighton & Hove | The Campaign for Education in Brighton and Hove

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