Education Secretary Michael Gove said academy status would improve standards at some of the poorest schools, then he went on to infuriate his critics by describing those opposed to academies as "ideologues happy with failure". It now seems he is avoiding criticism altogether by removing the rights of parent governors in academies to participate on education scrutiny committees at local authority level by failing to amend out-of-date legislation. It appears Lincolnshire County Council are not siding with either party, but have said we can rest assured that there are councillors on such committees able to provide effective scrutiny.
As a parent governor of an academy in one of the most deprived coastal areas of Lincolnshire I have avoided the anti-academies argument, focusing instead on my job, which is to ensure that there is funding and provision to meet the needs of children with special educational needs and to ensure the smooth running of our Academy. Our Academy is rated as outstanding, students have achieved floor targets year-on-year. However, we are operating against a backdrop of deprivation that is no longer factored-in to league tables by the DfE, and with a drive for 50% floor-targets A*-C GCSE's by 2015 the situation is set to become more stressful. To try to circumvent some of our contextual issues I set up a community group for working with families, the idea being, if we can support early childhood development then everyone will benefit, in other words, children will be better prepared to learn.
To further my aims, in 2011 I requested a place on the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee at Lincolnshire County Council. I was told that co-options wouldn’t be taking place, that there would be elections for three parent governor vacancies as soon as it was known how many schools had converted to academy status to ensure fair representation across schools and academies.
It transpired last week that letters for elections have only been sent to parent governors of state-maintained schools due to The Parent Governor Representative (England) Regulations 2001 ruling that only parent governors of maintained schools which are maintained by the local authority may be elected to education scrutiny committees.
So it would seem that Mr Gove not only wants schools to be free of local authority control, his department now wants to prevent reconnection through parent governor representation.
The question should now be asked why Lincolnshire County Council isn’t raising this issue with the DfE if they want to encourage parent participation from all areas of the county; they are, after all, encouraging countywide academy conversions.
The council should have sent out letters to all parent governors of maintained schools to notify of vacancies, so I would urge those in deprived areas of Lincolnshire to stand for election so that children’s issues are heard.
Haven't received a letter, contact Democratic Services Lincoln T: 01522 552083