Thursday, 28 June 2012

The World of Dirty Tricks: Putting the squeeze on the primary schools

Having lost the argument for academies and got into some spectacular fights with individual schools, bringing the power and might of central governemt down on the innocent Downhills of the worlds, the Govemobile has sprung into action in the World of Dirty Tricks.

This from a school governor whose primary school was recently  "offered" the opportunity to convert to being an academy.
“I’m still reliving yesterday’s meeting with that oleaginous little twerp from the DfE. It’s given me a new insight as to what ‘taking the King’s shilling’ actually means; having the morals of a whore and the manners of a skunk. How an ex Head, especially of an inner city school, can so blithely promote this appalling academy policy leaves me totally confused and worried that I may run short of gratuitous insults. I would have at least expected him to have done his homework so that he could answer some of our questions, but that was sadly lacking. I’m still not convinced, looking at the Academies Act 2010 and the Education Act of 2011, that the Secretary of State has the powers to enforce an academy on the grounds of falling below floor targets. The 2010 Act gives him power to enforce it if a school becomes ‘eligible for intervention’, and the 2011 Act defines this ‘eligibility’ as;
Standards of performance of pupils at a school are deemed to be low if they are low by reference to any one or more of the following:
a) the standards that the pupils might in all the circumstances reasonably be expected to attain
b) where relevant, the standards previously attained by them, or
c) the standards attained by pupils at comparable schools’
There is no reference to Floor Targets. Alan [Hewitt] was confusing, possibly deliberately, what was in the White Paper (the government’s intention) and what was actually passed by Parliament. Thank God for the Lords, and also the Education Select Committee which had quite an influence on the passage of both bills. I’m copying Anne into this as she may well have the Authority’s legal perspective.”
I feel quite frustrated that not many people seem to be concerned, or at least, don’t appreciate that it is serious. When I have mentioned it to others outside education they just say things like ‘Ah well, it’s going to happen anyway isn’t it’ and ‘Well, there’s nothing we can do about it is there’."
From another governor, 

"apparently they all asked this chap a lot of searching questions only to find they got very few answers. Some times it was that ‘they would have to ask the sponsors that one’ and at other times he just evaded answering or admitted he did not know the answer.
However, any arguments for why School X should not be forced into academy status began to seem irrelevant since Hewitt simply said that it is government policy and it’s intention is to turn all schools into academies.
One governor asked what would happen if they resisted and his answer was “I do not advise you to go down that route” "

Thus: British democracy in the 21st century. 

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