Damian Hinds, the education secretary, appears to believe schools which aren’t academies are not making ‘right decisions’. He’s quoted in Schools Week as telling representatives of faith groups that if their schools become academies:
‘…the leaders of these schools will ensure they are the ones making the right decisions for their pupils and for their communities, as I firmly believe they should be.’
Although he was only talking about faith schools, his remarks imply that leaders of local authority maintained schools are not making decisions in the best interests of their pupils. The Department for Education doesn’t trust them.
This is the second time in less than a week that Hinds and his department have rubbished non-academy schools. Non-academies are ‘council-run’ implying they’re under the heavy hand of local bureaucracy (they aren’t). Non-academies don’t ‘benefit’ from ‘academy freedoms’ (a freedom which puts individual schools into chains). A third slur has now been added to this list: leaders of non-academies aren’t making the ‘right decisions’.
This disparagement of non-academies suggests ministers have divided schools into two types: government-approved and government-despised. But the latter still form 65% of English schools. It is shameful that the majority of England’s schools should be denigrated by the department which is supposed to support them.