Stories + Views
Lincolnshire advises all its schools to become academies – but parents not consulted
Lincolnshire County Council is abdicating all responsibility for the county’s schools by advising them to become academies under the aegis of CfBT, an education charity which already runs Lincolnshire’s school improvement service.
The Conservative council admits that the number of converted schools will leave the council with insufficient money to support the rest, especially the small village schools. Opposers of academies have always argued that the academies’ programme will take money away from other schools, and this is the case in Lincolnshire.
The council says the problem is made worse because of the number of secondary modern schools in the county. Lincolnshire is a selective county and the existence of secondary modern schools is a result of this policy of selection. Now Lincolnshire is worried that many of these secondary modern schools whose ability range is necessarily skewed towards the bottom are at risk of enforced conversion because they will be unlikely to meet the government’s floor standards. The council says the problem caused by creaming, which is its fault, will be made worse if grammar academies take more children.
There has been no consultation about this with Lincolnshire parents. The council has decided that an outside organisation, not accountable to anyone, whose head office is miles away in Reading, is best placed to run Lincolnshire’s schools. The Assistant Director of Lincolnshire’s Children’s Services, Andy Breckon, is also director of CfBT school improvement
services in Lincolnshire. There is a clear conflict of interest. And even if the governing body and parents at any Lincolnshire school do not want to convert, then it appears they have been given no choice. The LA which should be responsible for all schools wants to dump the lot.