The problems at Fifa should be a warning to all fans of free schools and academies

Francis Gilbert's picture
The problems at Fifa, the organisation that runs world cup football, exemplify what happens when you have an organisation that's run by an unaccountable 'oligarchy' -- as you might term the select few that run things at Fifa. Sepp Blatter and his cronies who run Fifa clearly don't feel that they have to seriously answer the allegations of corruption that now dog the 2018 world cup; there's now evidence that certain officials were paid considerable sums to vote for Qatar to host the world cup. The absurdity is that because the way the situation is set up, Sepp Blatter will almost certainly be re-elected as President despite presiding over this chaos.

Academies and free schools, which are free from local authority control and sign their own secretive funding agreements with central government, are and will be set up in a similar fashion to Fifa: essentially a small group of people, an unaccountable "oligarchy", will run everything. You can imagine a situation happening like the one at Fifa with many academies and free schools with parents, pupils and local community members protesting against something happening at these schools and yet having absolutely no power to change the powers that be. The Coalition and the previous Labour administration have set up a system with our schools which gives power to a small minority without any of the necessary checks and balances.

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Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 02/06/2011 - 16:30

It’s worrying that a recent LSE report portrays LA schools in a negative light because they have “rigid governance structures”. The rules governing LA governing bodies are set down by law to ensure there is representation from a range of interested parties (parents, local representatives and so on). Yet the authors of the report imply this is inflexible.

Which is the more democratic – schools whose “rigid governance” ensures that governors represent the local area, or those whose governing bodies are self-appointed?

“Changing School Autonomy: Academy Schools and Their Introduction to England’s Education” available from

Davis Lewis's picture
Wed, 21/09/2011 - 11:00

Very worrying indeed!

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