Friday, 18 March 2011

Crest Academy Boss wants to run 250 more schools

Sir Bruce Liddington, head of E-Act has told the Times Educational Supplement that he wants to run 250 more schools. He says he expect to have around 50 free schools, 50 'traditional' academies that replace under-performing schools, 100 'converter academies' (the Claremont type) and 50 primary schools over the next 5 years.

E-Act runs the two Crest academies where 21 teachers are being made redundant. E-Act used to be known as Edutrust but changed their name after the then head, Lord Bhattia, resigned after accusations of financial mismanagement. Sir Bruce Liddington is paid £265,000 annually and E-Act made a £2.4 million profit in 2009.

Primary schools around the Crest Academies better look out because Liddington said, "We are also interested in chains of primaries. As funding becomes tighter you will find that small primary schools will need to get together if they are going to survive. We are also starting to talk about chains of primaries in inner-urban areas around our existing traditional academies."

Alasdair Smith, Anti-Academies Alliance national secretary said:
Today’s revelations in the TES confirm the point consistently made by the AAA; academy conversions and free schools are about privatisation. 
It is about the corporate takeover of education. Politicians may claim it is about ‘raising standards’, ‘closing the attainment gap’ or giving school leaders ‘more freedom’, but the harsh reality is that big business wants our schools. 

EACT is not alone. Before the election, VT Education claimed it wanted 1000 schools. CfBT are looking at models to control whole areas such as Lincolnshire and ARK and the Harris Federation are busily expanding. All these chains claim to be ‘charitable’. But they are big businesses with fat cat bosses

Scandalously it appears that the DfE is now diverting significant resources to this end. The Coalition is aiding and abetting the privatisation of our state education system. There is also a clamour in ‘edu-business’ circles to allow ‘for profit’ providers to enter free schools market. The direction of travel is for wholesale privatisation of state education. 
Every academy conversion and every new free school will hasten this process. We urge governors and head teachers to resist the inducements to convert. We urge parents and staff to organise and protest. 

 There has never been a better reason to join the TUC’s protest on the 26th March.
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