In the last couple of weeks at least 3 'free' school projects have floundered because of lack of premises. So far the DfE have failed to respond to an FoI request for the cost of the aborted Michaela Community School project.
More worrying is the amount of money being spent on public relations exercises to convince the public that academies are a good thing. The following is taken from the Communitas website
West London Academy
We provided PR support for both press and communications with parents, staff and the wider community. We also managed the media to minimise some potentially very negative coverage after the Academy's first Ofsted report.
The London Academy
We worked with the Principal and Deputy Principal of the Academy to deal with the media furore after a teacher in the London Academy went to the Daily Mail to denounce standards of discipline in the school and to allege that she had been attacked by two boys in a school corridor.
Harris Boys' Academy, East Dulwich
The Harris Federation approached us to work with them on a reputation management issue relating to proposed temporary accommodation options for the Harris Boys’ Academy.
Eastbourne Academy, Darlington
We provided a full media relations service for the Academy. Early challenges were around staff management issues that needed delicate and skilled management to avoid unwelcome press coverage.