Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The Great Education Struggle - Don't Be a Jumper

My letter in YEP on Tuesday [Our Education Struggle]. Not printed are the bits in italics.

Nicky Morgan, for no good reason is the government education secretary, using her position to carry out the wishes of the people who prop her up, not knowingly saying anything that demonstrates educational knowledge, makes sweeping statements and then says "The evidence speaks for itself".

She declared (and you never saw Michael Gove's lips move) that all schools are to become academies
. Well, the jury is firmly back in: that academisation depresses educational standards and causes great instability. Because a number of educationally successful Tory councils objected to the pointless shake up of their status quo, Ms Morgan has retreated from this position.

Nonetheless a number of headteachers and school governors (whose position should be only as critical friends and not as policy makers, by the way)  have taken it upon themselves to do Ms Morgan's dirty work for her, jumping before being pushed in the desperate hope that they will secure a better type of academisation.
But the government has neither time nor capacity to micro manage each of these self-inflicted privatisations. Academisation is immoral and destabilising to the school, to the local area - however the jumpers try to make it not so. Once the school is out of the system, and they leave local authority support [not control!], and they are seen as fair game for the privateers.
We, teachers, headteachers, governors, parents, students shouldn’t do the government’s dirty work for them, but fight every non-educational initiative all the way. Gove and Morgan will soon be history. When our grandchildren ask “What did you do in the Great Education Struggle [for a decent education, rich with the Arts and freedoms of choice]?” let’s say “We did not roll over!”
Every school that leaves the local authority’s family means one less music teacher, one less educational psychologist, one less bereavement counsellor, one less SEN advisor, and all the rest that we take so casually for granted.

Victoria Jaquiss
Education campaigner, teacher, ex-governor

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