I wonder if the Academies that have been over-funded by as much as £300 per pupil, thanks to Gove’s incompetence, will have to pay it back? Or will they get to keep it, on top of what they already receive in sums that have been taken out of local authority maintained schools, which no longer officially or politically exist (the DfE website, as we know, ignore them)? Plus the additional money their “town hall would spent on related services such as transport and special needs provision”. And about £25,000 to cover costs of setting up a charitable trust and negotiating complex land transfers, as this today piece in The Guardian
The embarrassment over the Financial Times’ uncovering of these errors (which Gove blames on local authorities and Labour – how? why?) and his poor and stuttering media performances yesterday, are the latest in a string of gaffes which do nothing to inspire confidence in either the Education Secretary’s implementation of a school reform policy EVEN IF the policies themselves were a magic wand that was very likely to improve schools for everyone all over the country. This is just adding insult to injury. Gove is already facing legal challenges (any lawyers here able to give an estimate on legal fees?) arising from his ill-considered and cack-handed actions in cutting at least £148m from LA funds to siphon into Academies
Gove cited Barack Obama in a speech yesterday afternoon, cringingly saying that "Education reform is the civil rights battle of our time. In Britain, as in the USA, access to a quality education has never mattered more, but access to a quality education is rationed for the poor, the vulnerable and those from minority communities." No point re-hashing statistics here, as other contributors to this site have done so in other posts, but his statement about the poor and the vulnerable do not sit comfortably with research showing that his new schools aren’t placed to advantage the vulnerable.
Worse, his evocation of the civil rights movement with it’s still sensitive legacy of African-American integration, draws attention to not only the failure of the US Charter School System in improving education across the board, but also its particular failure to raise achievements in poor areas, which is where you will find a larger concentration of black and Hispanic children.
I wrote about the myth of Charters here
, and there are other great posts here on them too but I just found a New York Times piece by American journalist Bob Herbert
, the latest in a long line of critics who have pointed out that “The current obsession with firing teachers, attacking unions and creating ever more charter schools has done very little to improve the academic outcomes of poor black and Latino students. Nothing has brought about gains on the scale that is needed.”
So, Academization for Academization’s sake of schools here can be seen as ineffective in light of the American example, but Gove will ignore it and propagate the myth that American School Reform, even under Obama, will be the miracle cure.
The evidence says otherwise, but Sam Freedman, the policy adviser to Gove when the Tories were in opposition and now on the DfE’s payroll not as an adviser but a civil servant, is keen to breach a civil servant’s duty to impartiality by using Twitter, as I posted here
, , to defend and promote the questionable actions and policies of leading American school reformers such as Joel Klein and Michelle Rhee, presumably as a means of propping up his and Gove’s misguided pilfering of the Charter system and introducing this ideology into Academies and Free Schools here.