Sunday 27 January 2013

Excellent editorial on forced academies in Kilburn Times

For those of my readers beyond Brent here is the Editorial from our main local newspaper, the Kilburn and Brent Times LINK


When taking a look at the recent education news you could be forgiven for thinking that Brent was fast becoming education secretary Michael Gove's dream borough.
It seems more and more schools are adopting Academy status.

Last week's front page on the (now cancelled) strike at Preston Manor in Wembley over the (still happening) conversion to the Academy model showed this.
But while we respect a decision that is made by the school alone, there are sadly those that are having this controversial ideology forced upon them.

Gladstone Park Primary School is well regarded and fared well in the recent primary league tables.

But a new and stricter Ofsted system has meant the school will be forced to convert by the Department for Education (DfE) due to 'serious weaknesses'.

What this actually amount to was a slight decline in pupils' achievement  in the middle years, despite the majority actually leaving the school in better shape academically than when they started.

From what parents and governors have conveyed to us, there is a real belief that they can continue to offer ample education and solve the issue.

Why the need to hand responsibility to a private 'sponsor'?

Surely it should be left to locally-elected governors and established and committed teachers to decide what is right for their school?

Meanwhile directors at the controversial Michaela Community School, set-up by free school supporter, Katharine Birbalsingh, have confirmed they will be parachuting into Wembley Park.

We should all watch very closely as consultation nears and hope that local education with a local say is not a thing of the past.

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