Agnew has particularly strong views on education funding, it would seem, recently explaining that Department for Education commercial deals are “pants” and accusing schools of fiddling their figures to balance their budgets.
And then last week, he went even further: he explained to a bemused Schools and Academies Show that he would bet any school “a bottle of champagne” that his team could find savings in its budget. The response from the sector was, well, gobsmacked.
For months now, I’ve been hearing stories of how Agnew enjoys nothing more than sitting in his large DfE office going through MAT trustee board minutes and budgets, then demanding to see whoever was in charge. He also likes to hold very regular meetings with groups of MAT CEOs.
It is clear that Agnew, who made hundreds of millions in the private sector before setting out to fix schooling in Norfolk, does genuinely think he might be better at running the nation’s schools than those currently doing the job.
It is not without irony that Agnew, a Conservative politician and long-term Michael Gove supporter, appears to be so unenthusiastic about the autonomy that academies were supposed to enjoy as a result of years of Conservative reform.
Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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