Writing in his column in the Guardian, Warwick Mansell says outside sponsors will replace parent power when school become academies, but no parent got to vote on the decision.
Do “the parents, the governors and the headteacher” really end up “in full control” of schools when they become academies, as David Cameron told parliament during prime minister’s questions last week? The claim was made in response to a question by Caroline Lucas, the Green party’s MP, asking why residents near her Brighton constituency, who had rejected the academisation of Hove Park school, would see their views count for nothing with all schools now forced to become academies.
The very next day the latest white paper on education was published, which included a promise that academies would no longer have to have any parent governors. This would be the culmination of years of policymakers, perhaps led by the private equity tycoon who is now in control of state-funded schools as academies minister, Lord Nash, saying English school boards should be more businesslike.
The government consistently blocked Labour moves, during the recent parliamentary passage of the Education and Adoption Act, to ensure parents were consulted in cases where schools were facing academisation.
The white paper also favours multi-academy trusts: academy chains whose governance rules allow conventional school governors to have little or no power, with an outside sponsor able to appoint all decision-makers.
No parent got to vote on this plan as a whole, as it wasn’t in the Tory manifesto. This seems a strange form of parental and governor control…
More (including interesting insights into spending on educational consultants) at Axing parent governors in schools is the opposite of Cameron’s ‘parent power’
Your thoughts on Warwick Mansell’s take on the impact for school democracy of the latest government policy initiatives?
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