Campaigns: For Transparency in Academies and Free Schools

Posts about For Transparency in Academies and Free Schools

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David Ward: The Kafkaesque Nightmare of Forced Academisation

It happened so suddenly and so brutally, like being plunged into a nightmare beyond even Kafka’s vivid imagination. Overnight, we were invaded, occupied and treated as voiceless serfs, trapped in a murky world where everyone was working against us and no one was accountable for their actions. And it all happened in a quiet corner of Norwich. A little over a ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by David Ward: "John, are you aware of Parents 4 Education? They're quite new, but it sounds like you have a lot in common. There’s clearly a substantial body of opinion that things need to change and fast. The trick is to harness ......"

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Janet Downs: Three types of academies: “Rewarded succeeders”, “Punished failures” and “Near boiled Frogs”

“Think of yourselves as a frog in a pan of water on the stove. You can wait for the flames of Ofsted to bring the water to the boil, or jump out now while you still can. I would advise you to jump now.” DfE broker quoted by David Wolfe QC, evidence to Education Select Committee In other words, schools jump before ... read more and comment →

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Janet Downs: Gove is wrong: academies and free schools aren’t subject to greater accountability because they’re not publicly audited

The school landscape is rapidly changing, writes Steve Bundred*, ex-chief executive of the Audit Commission. The expansion of the academies programme and the establishment of free schools have further complicated an area in which local authority (LA) maintained schools rub shoulders with foundation, voluntary-controlled (VC) and voluntary-aided (VA) schools. Many of these schools are not under LA stewardship and have ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Janet Downs: "Steve - according to the Audit Commission website, it's been doing "Protecting the Public Purse" reports since 2009 (first link). It doesn't appear to have had the power to report on English LAs until the 2007 Health Act was ......"

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Janet Downs: Gove ducks question about Sulivan School closure by accusing Labour MPs of hypocrisy. A case of the pot calling the kettle black?

Sulivan Primary School is, regular readers will know, threatened with closure (see sidebar). The local council has voted to shut it down despite it being a popular, successful primary school. Sulivan is one of few London primary schools in the Mayor of London’s Gold Club which identifies and praises exceptional London schools. But neither this success nor campaigning ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Andy Slaughter MP: "Standard non-answer from Michael Gove. Three quick points on the question I asked him on the Sulivan School campaign. - http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2014-02-10a.552.8&s=speaker%3A11559#g553.1 1. His answer suggests that he seems to think you can only get high standards in either free schools or ......"

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Janet Downs: B’Ham: Colmore parents campaign for consultation re academy conversion; plus more questions about enforced academisation

Parents at Colmore Junior and Infants Schools, Birmingham, are campaigning for a full consultation before school Governors vote for both schools to become academies. They feel parents have only been given information in support of conversion and want to know any possible negative consequences. They’re also concerned some of the information they’ve been given is suspect. They’ve heard Birmingham ... read more and comment →

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David Barry: Who Consults? Who Decides? The Whitehall Park School on the old Ashmount site, a request for advice.

This is really a continuation from this blog posting. This is an edited version of an email correspondence between me and the DfE, relating to consultations regarding the proposed free School on the old Ashmount site in Islington (Whitehall Park School). It consists of my original query to the DfE followed by their response. The underlying theme seems to ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by David Barry: "Barry, Thanks for your response. I should clarify that the emails I refer to having sent the proposers were not about this consultation, they were about other matters. So their policy of non response is general, and has been experienced by, ......"

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Janet Downs: B’Ham primary “requested” by DfE to convert puts sponsorship on hold but DfE database gives conversion date

In February 2012, Radio 4 reported how the Department for Education (DfE) was using intimidation to enforce academy conversion in primary schools including some in Birmingham. In May 2012, a Birmingham newspaper wrote: “But there is a cloak of secrecy surrounding which schools are being converted, with many parents being kept in the dark, as governors and staff are fearful of ... read more and comment →

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Janet Downs: Under investigation? Been sent warnings? Non-existent? Don’t worry – you can still be an approved academy sponsor

The Department for Education (DfE) list of approved academy sponsors keeps on growing. There are now 560 of them*. The list can be used, the DfE says with confidence, by schools looking for a sponsor, a sponsor looking to work with another sponsor or local authorities (LAs) looking for (aka forced to look for) a “sponsor solution for some of ... read more and comment →

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Janet Downs: Academy Trust not registered at Companies House gets contract to “sponsor” new schools

“Carillion Academies Trust is a fresh and innovative model of Trust that will combine educational expertise with business and commercial understanding.” Carillion plc announcement 17 December 2013 The Department for Education (DfE) must have been impressed with this “fresh and innovative model” because it had already announced Carillion Academies Trust was to sponsor two brand new schools in Tameside. New schools need building, ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Roger Titcombe: "John is right...."

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Janet Downs: 30 academies are of “national concern”, EFA told the DfE in December. Has Gove told MPs?

In December 2013, the Education Funding Agency (EFA) told the Department for Education (DfE) there were 30 academies of “national concern”, the National Audit Office (NAO*) found. The NAO didn’t reveal what these concerns were. Neither did it say whether they were stand-alone academies, in a chain, sponsored, or free schools. All it said was Kings Science Academy, ... read more and comment →

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