Is this the way we could end up?

Ros Coffey's picture
There is a very interesting story in the LA Times regarding six Charter schools who were caught cheating in exams.

It is rather worrying that the article also lists other schools where employees have embezzled and stolen money. I wonder if this would have happened if the checks and balances were still undertaken by the local authority?

I would be interested to know how many other problem charter schools/academies there are because it does not seem to me that everything in the garden is quite so lovely as Mr Gove seems to think.
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Janet Downs's picture
Fri, 11/03/2011 - 11:33

What is worrying about this story is that the organisation running the schools has had its contract renewed despite the cheating and no-one has been sacked. It also demonstrates what can happen when schools are free from external checks and supervision.

This story also raises a wider question: how far does pressure on schools to succeed lead to cheating of this kind? How many teachers allow pupils to resubmit coursework, for example, after it's been marked? How many alter pupil answer papers? Teachers are supposed to be professionals, but none of the teachers in these schools refused to do what the Principal directed - open the exam papers before the test and coach pupils on the answers.

Urban Head's picture
Sat, 12/03/2011 - 10:16

I think you only need to look at the relationship between the DES/DCSF and ULT to answer your question!

Francis Gilbert's picture
Sat, 12/03/2011 - 11:46

I agree Ros, corruption is going to be a very big issue in the coming years. It's interesting to note that the establishment of post-war welfare state was built on the notion that corruption must be avoided at all costs, hence all the checks and balances that were set up within the local authority framework. Politicians from that era was terrified of corruption, having seen its terrible effects during the early 20th century. Has this govt forgotten this vital lesson from history?

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