Sunday, 8 July 2012

Absolutely No Child Matters in Leeds and Middlesborough

Michael Gove. He has ideas above his station, and he probably really thinks he knows what he's doing. Plus he has a taste of power. He says, Bring the Head of Leeds or Middlesborough Council, or Children's Services, or whatever from wherever in the whole of the cuntry, and they crawl out of the wood work to deliver. He says Build me a free school, at public expense, at Beccles or Saxmunden for which there is no demand, and hey, it's being built. After taking the money the building firms will blame Govey when it's hard to ignore anymore that 37 pupils don't make a summer.

If it is true that the Bear of Small Brain has really ordered 34 Leeds schools to become academies ie give away their buildings and their land to any old private firms, then shouldn't we be on some barricades somewhere!

It says [YEP 29.6.12] that, according to the DFE, 34 Leeds primary schools are failing to meet the Government's minimum standards" but, according to Nigel Richardson, director of Leeds City Council Education services,  Leeds is "one of the fastest improving local authorities in the country. Of the 30 Ofsted inspections since January this year, 24 schools were rated as good and one one . . inadequate."

And here, I think is Leeds' problem. A good and improving Labour-controlled authority! Oh no says arch-conservative Education Secretary, that will never do. If they won't be rubbish on their own, we'll just make satisfactory mean unsatisfactory.  And if the chosen schools "do not co-operate, Mr Gove has the power to impose his own interim exective board to run the school before it becomes an academy."

Well, I ask myself, where will the Gove find enough people in Leeds to be the IEBs for the 34 condemned schools? School governors, after all, as I told an astonished Jonathan Dimbleby 6 weeks ago, on Any Answers are "a bunch of unpaid amateurs".  What could the unpopularity be worth of being complicit in the pointless privatisation of their local primary school?

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