is a good piece by Lib Dem councillor Peter Downes, published on a prominent grass roots Liberal Democrat website, on the reality of academy funding. Peter has been crunching numbers on the extra resources being channeled towards convertor schools for the past year and I would recommend also looking at this briefing note he has done on how the LACSEG section of academy funding is calculated ( or miscalculated might be a more accurate description) LACSEG and the funding of academies.June 2011
His latest analysis shows that the government is overspending its budget on academies by about £600 million a year. This money is effectively funding bribes to schools to convert but it is hard to see how it can continue indefinitely.
Another interesting straw in the wind is the volte face that has been done by the Tory Leader of Kent County Council Paul Carter
who has been blowing hot and cold about whether academy conversions are a good thing. First he spoke out against Tory policy before the election, then he became a supporter of all LA schools opting out, now he is sounding warning bells again. Partly because of funding and also because (although the message is coded ) he has clearly realised that a future government of a different political persuasion may not necessarily have the interests of Kent's grammar schools at heart.
Here is what he said:
"A further concern is how the school landscape of Kent, which offers maximum parental and pupil choice through its wide range of school types, may be affected after future general elections.
"One needs to consider very carefully who may be in charge of national government in the future; without being too political, schools need to think long and hard about what impact a future change in government might have on their status and if they will be able to retain their unique ethos and character, when they are under the control of the Secretary of State."
Maybe some good could come out of the mass , lemming like rush to academy status by selective schools. A future Labour government could use the power of the centrally controlled funding agreement to require them to end academic selection. And it is too late for them to turn back now.