Saturday, 26 June 2010

Who thinks they're better than anyone else? It's central for a reason.

The following Leeds schools have "expressed an interest" in dismantling the local educational psychology service, the SEN service, the school transport, the inspection and advice, the governor services - and a few other of our local central services in Leeds:

Boston Spa School Leeds
Bruntcliffe School Leeds
Farnley Park High School Leeds
Garforth Community College Leeds
Garforth Green Lane Primary School Leeds
Gledhow Primary School Leeds
Horsforth Specialist Science School Leeds
John Smeaton Community College Leeds
Meanwood Church of England Primary Leeds
Morley High School Leeds
Otley the Whartons Primary School Leeds
Rothwell Haigh Road School Leeds
St Margaret's Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary SchLoeoel ds
West Oaks School and Technology College Leeds
Woodkirk High Specialist Science School Leeds
Woodlesford Primary School Leeds

If you teach or are a parent from one of these schools you might want to know this story:

There was a Sheffield school who decided to go it alone, go out of the state system. After a year they dismally failed the Ofsted, and the school was closed. This week, one of my friends was on interview with one of their ex-senior management teachers. He was desperate for the job [to pay the mortgage] that they were both going for. "But surely," my friend asked, "you'll get redeployed?", "No", he said, "When the school decide to go it alone, the local authority had to wash its hands of us, and when we failed, the council had no responsibility".

Ice berg - tip of - this is just one story. Does our public education system have to go into melt-down before the government comes to its senses? To the parents, governors and teachers of these schools I say this: when your schools accepts the 30 pieces of silver, and steps outside the system, what happens when they want to buy in NQT advice, or governor support, or a peripateic music teacher, or SEN support and the rest? [ie all the things they do now, but nobody really knows about] Answer is: they will have to pay over the odds, that is if these services have survived the lack of funds that your opt-out has created.

Don't be flattered into accepting the academy route. It's central for a reason. Teachers and their careers are not the enemy. They are the lifeline to our children's future.


  1. Firstly, it is unclear to me how they have 'expressed an interest' in what you say - implicitly, they have done this by expressing an interet in academy status. If that is the casse then your post is a gross over-extension of the interest - Academies might want to buy in such services.

    If no, then how short-sighted are they!?

    Do they think that the services are not needed, or that they can provide them better themselves? Maybe some of EduLeeds' cemtral services could be more effective, but there are some that are so specialist and small that a central unit is always going to be more effective than a host of schools buying theri own services. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  2. It is of course by default. Once the money that would have gone to to the central services has gone to the academies instead, the central services will have no means to keep themselves going. So when the academies do decide we need a educational psychologist or a bassoon teacher, for example, they won't be around anymore to fulfill this need.