‘Lord Agnew: the man who wants to chair every MAT in England’

He may have been schools minister for 14 months, but it’s only really been in the past few weeks that Lord Agnew has started making headlines. Tes reports.

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.

Read more ‘Lord Agnew: the man who wants to chair every MAT in England’

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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Categories: Academies and Budgets.


  1. Anonymous

    ‘…autonomy they were supposed to enjoy’. And there you have it, ‘supposed’ being the key word. Autonomy was the red herring which persuaded governing bodies to surrender their historical power and independence to the state, ‘voluntarily’ putting in place the MAT structure which would enable any tyrant to take control of the nation’s schools at a stroke.

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