Forced Academy Bill Coming- Game changer needed
The Tories have announced they will start the next five years with an Academy Bill, as they did five years ago. Will the outcome be different this time and the tide be turned against Academies?
The myth that schools have choices is exposed by the plans announced last week, but without a game changer the Anti Academies Alliance should not expect to succeed.
The plans are for “coasting schools” to be academised, on the grounds that though they are not failing their results have flatlined – so naturally they have to be academised as this will immediately boost their output figures. Nicky Morgan told Andrew Marr on 17th May that 'academies are fantastic schools' because they 'give power to the head and teachers'. This is not true, but is the core of the autonomy myth, which is based on the idea that their results are being held back by bureaucrats. In over a decade of campaigning, the Anti Academies Alliance has not been able to dent the myth.
If the bill is to be effectively opposed with the Lib Dem support now removed, thus making this a purely Tory measure, coming to grips with the power of the myth inside the Westminster bubble – aided by the Labour Party, which invented it. The facts have never supported this, but the facts have never made any difference despite clear financial impropriety reported on by the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee, and results not improving when proper statistical tests have been applied. The many academic studies, the work of the Pearson commission, and the January report of the Education Select Committee, all pointed that the improvement in results myth was just that – and had zilch effect.
What can be done to make sure there is a different outcome this time?
Trevor Fisher20 5 2015