Lincolnshire advises all its schools to become academies – but parents not consulted

Janet Downs's picture
Lincolnshire County Council  is abdicating all responsibility for the county’s schools by advising them to become academies under the aegis of CfBT, an education charity which already runs Lincolnshire’s school improvement service.

The Conservative council admits that the number of converted schools will leave the council with insufficient money to support the rest, especially the small village schools.  Opposers of academies have always argued that the academies’ programme will take money away from other schools, and this is the case in Lincolnshire.

The council says the problem is made worse because of the number of secondary modern schools in the county.  Lincolnshire is a selective county and the existence of secondary modern schools is a result of this policy of selection.  Now Lincolnshire is worried that many of these secondary modern schools whose ability range is necessarily skewed towards the bottom are at risk of enforced conversion because they will be unlikely to meet the government’s floor standards.  The council says the problem caused by creaming, which is its fault, will be made worse if grammar academies take more children.

There has been no consultation about this with Lincolnshire parents.  The council has decided that an outside organisation, not accountable to anyone, whose head office is miles away in Reading, is best placed to run Lincolnshire’s schools.  The Assistant Director of Lincolnshire’s Children’s Services, Andy Breckon, is also director of CfBT school improvement
services in Lincolnshire.  There is a clear conflict of interest.  And even if the governing body and parents at any Lincolnshire school do not want to convert, then it appears they have been given no choice.  The LA which should be responsible for all schools wants to dump the lot.
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Davis Lewis's picture
Tue, 13/09/2011 - 10:51

'Advises' is a euphemism for 'orders'. Schools who have intentions of remaining outside of the academy sphere will be financially penalised. The goverenment is gradually removing the LA provided support services such HR, legal, buildings maintenance, insurance etc. so that schools will no longer enjoy the benefits of economies of scale or servive providers which are not profit driven. Academies will be run by large congolerates and the success criterion for such companies is profit, not educational success.
Our children have become widgets.

Margaret May Brand's picture
Thu, 15/09/2011 - 22:41

Is this Lincolnshire's policy or Gove's? I was a Lincolnshire Headteacher when Local Management of Schools (LMS) was implemented. Lincolnshire schools changed to LMS a year ahead of the rest of the country. This seemed to be more about Lincolnshire County Council playing a game best known as 'Look What Good Little Tories We Are' than about whether schools were ready for the changes. I suspect this is another round of that game, one which they are determined to win.

How does a school refuse to become an academy when the alternative is a non-viable LEA? Has anyone worked out how many schools are needed to stay with the LEA for it to remain viable?

Stephen Mayo's picture
Thu, 23/02/2012 - 17:46

Janet, Do you have any links for the definitive policy on the make up of boards of governors for Academies and "Free Schools"? I am told that they are effectively appointed by the academy "Trust" that runs the school but I can't seem to find one that confirms the policy once and for all.

Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 23/02/2012 - 18:11

Simon - you should be able to find answers about academies and governors from the link below. Free schools are academies so would have the same type of governing body.

Stephen Mayo's picture
Fri, 24/02/2012 - 07:43

Perfect! Many thanks.

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