This is Undeniable Evidence that Academisation has Failed.

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Academisation is Failing – Now Evidence is Undeniable

There is mounting evidence that Academisation is failing.  Recently the South Shore Academy in Blackpool was blasted by OFSTED as inadequate. This is sponsored by the Bright Futures Academy Chain. Schools are being forced to convert to Academies against the will of parents or staff. Clive Lewis (Labour MP, Norwich South) has opposed the plans  of Inspiration Trust Academy Chain to takeover the Hewett School in Norwich.

Who is sponsoring the Academisation of schools? The Guardian list.

Today is the last date at which evidence can be submitted. The Public Bill Committee for the Education and Adoption Bill has requested written evidence. This Committee’s stops accepting written evidence today (14 July).  Teachers know that controversial announcements for changes in education policy are always buried in the summer holidays. The powers-that-be think it will be all forgotten by September.

Henry Stewart, Local Schools’ Network has collated data which shows very clearly that schools which are sponsored academies are much more likely to subsequently be found inadequate following OFSTED inspections. The data currently is confined to sponsored academies in the secondary sector because there is currently insufficient data from primary sponsored academies to collate significant results. But there is no reason to suppose that this would indicate a different trend.

A secondary school is twice as likely to stay 

inadequate if it is a sponsored academy 

Likelihoo-to-become-inadequate Further information and analysis of these statistics which have been collated from OFSTED reports is presented in Henry Stewart’s Report in Local Schools Network

In summary:

    • If a secondary  school is rated Requires Improvement, it is over twice as likely to become Inadequate if it is a Sponsored Academy 
    • If a secondary school is rated Good, it is almost four times as likely to become Inadequate if it is a Sponsored Academy
    • If a secondary school is rated Outstanding, it is almost three times as likely to become Inadequate if it is a Sponsored Academy

Ideology or Evidence?

“Converter academies, schools that were already Good or Outstanding, do not appear to have the same problem. The higher likelihood to stay or become inadequate is specific to sponsored academies. However this is the academy model that is being proposed for “inadequate” or “coasting” schools under the Education Bill.

The evidence seems to indicate that, in terms of Ofsted rating, a school is more likely to improve and less likely to stay or become inadequate if it is not a sponsored academy. This may be because most sponsored academies are part of academy chains, whose problems are clear from DfE data. With only 4 of the 20 biggest chains showing above average results, in terms of value added, the solution of giving an “underperforming” school to a chain needs to be closely examined.

The Bill now goes to the Education Select Committee. Let’s hope that they choose to base their view on the evidence and not on ideology.”

These findings match those of the National Audit Office which found informal interventions such as local support for schools in difficulties were more effective than formal interventions such as academy conversions.

Clearly, the agenda to date has never been about improvement in schools, and even more worrying is, because of that there is little concern for the children and individuals whose lives are affected. It has always been ideological, about privatisation. The conflict of interest engendered by whole scale privatisation is evident. Competition between schools results in their isolation, and centralised  services supporting  special needs such as CAMHS , SEN, home tutors are lost. Schools work better in LEAs or teacher managed consortia, not privatised businesses.

Academy School blasted as inadequate by OFSTED Inspection. #NoAcademisation

The Blackpool Gazette reports on  the recent OFSTED inspection of an Academy School sponsored by Bright Futures Academy Chain.

In a damning report, Ofsted rated South Shore Academy in St Annes Road, South Shore, as one of the most underperforming schools on the Fylde coast.

The May inspection called leadership and management, behaviour and safety of pupils, quality of teaching and achievement of pupils as inadequate – the worst grading.

Worries were raised about teaching, safety and the poor behaviour of pupils – with one inspector adding the academy’s current curriculum does not prepare them properly for modern life in Britain.

The school, led by principal Jane Bailey, is now set to be put into special measures after the schools leaders, managers and governors failed to secure improvements.In an eight page report, Ofsted inspectors raised concerns about ineffective leadership, inadequate teaching, low attendance in Year 11, disruption in lessons and the academy building not being fit for purpose.

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden (Labour Party) added: “I am very concerned, both for the families with students at the school and students themselves at this particularly strong Ofsted report which at the time of the inspection judged the academy as being inadequate in most of its categories.

“This should be a wake-up call to central government to make sure the model going forward is one of collaboration and working closely with the local community and not being dictated to by Whitehall. 

The Conservative government’s policy of  Academisation isolates schools from specialised support services, and increases competition between schools rather than advocating co-oeration and shared professionalism among educationalists.

Isolation increases the difficulties caused by social deprivation and cuts to public services.  Pitching school against school, and child against child can only exacerbate issues of concern. Schools need to work together in LEAS or teacher-led consortia for mutual benefit. There is increasing evidence that the Academisation programme does not improve learning and is another screen for privatisation of public services.  

Clive Lewis , Labour MP from Norwich South  criticises Academy chain Inspiration Trust and proposed  forced takeovers in his maiden speech in Parliament.

“Not content with taking over our schools and giving parents no say in their children’s education, they crave ever more power and wealth,” he told the Commons.

“Now they want to take from the people of Norwich, the Hewett local authority school and the £60m pounds of land it sits on – land that belongs to the people of our city.

Our schools are not businesses, our children are not commodities, our future is not to be traded. The Academisation programme must stop now, and Labour’s policy must oppose it and offer an alternative and inclusive education policy. Education is not about individuals, it is about everyone and for our mutual benefit.

Hunger, Lack of Clothes and Shoes. Teachers Lift the Lid on Child Poverty

NASUWT says schools and teachers are being left to pick up the pieces of Tory’s “scandalous” economic policies

NASUWT

Teachers have attacked the government’s record on child poverty, saying they have witnessed at first hand the effect on the children they teach.

Speaking ahead of the release of the latest official figures on child poverty released today, NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: “If, as expected, the figures show that child poverty levels have risen yet again, this is a shameful indictment of the economic and social policies of the Coalition Government.

“It is equally shameful that the government is committed to continuing the policies which have led to this anticipated rise.

“Teachers are witnessing firsthand the impact of poverty on the children they teach. Three-quarters of teachers recently surveyed by the NASUWT say they have witnessed more and more children coming to school too hungry to concentrate and without clothing and footwear appropriate to the weather conditions.

“Children are increasingly being denied educational opportunities because of their parents’ inability to pay for educational visits.

“Evidence shows that too many young people are choosing subject options on the basis, not of their skills and aspirations, but on the basis of whether their parents can afford the books, equipment and other resources a particular course demands.

“Schools and teachers are being left to pick up the pieces. The shattering of children’s life chances cannot simply be regarded as collateral damage.

“Yet scandalously, rather than embarking on a strategy to tackle poverty and inequality, it now appears the government plans to change the definition of child poverty in an attempt to mask the terrible toll its policies are taking on our children and young people. Our children and young people deserve better.”

Reproduced by Commons Creative Licence , previously published by Union Solidarity International

Greedy Tories, Leave our Schools Alone!

Greedy Tories – Leave our Schools Alone

The school bully marches into playgrounds across this country, David Cameron with Nicky Morgan, and Michael Gove cheering from the sidelines, imposing his will.  Against the will of teachers and parents, he pursues the policy of Academisation. Tory policies of destruction of LEAs, and encouraging children and their schools to compete against one another is nothing to do with learning. It has nothing to do with professionalism. Centralised services such as  provision for those with special educational needs (SEN), education welfare, (EWS) support for children’s mental health (CAMHS),  Educational Psychology Services (EPS) , support for children suffering ME/CFS, or EBSR (emotionally based school refusal) can be provided where schools work together within local consortia or LEAs, but where profit is the objective such services are are lost to our children, and as a result so many lives are irrevocably damaged.

The latest we hear from David Cameron is that even “good schools could become Academies“. They have moved on from those schools which were  struggling, having cashed in they are now moving on to those which aren’t.

Cameron now says , “And other schools rated ‘good’ at their last inspection – but which haven’t been maintaining high standards since. They are giving children ‘just enough’ to avoid falling beneath our floor standards. But frankly ‘just enough’ isn’t good enough for my children, and it shouldn’t be for yours.

“So we’re going to say to those schools: if you’re not making fast enough progress in raising standards, you have to change and if you can’t do it yourself, you have to become a sponsored academy and welcome in people with a proven track record of running outstanding schools.”

Of course, everyone would like to see the very best for every child and Labour’s  Every Child Matters set out to do that.  There is no evidence that the policies of Academisation and schools’ privatisation do anything to improve our schools, yet we do see evidence of Academy Schools which have  failed since their staus has changed. OFSTED Chief Michael Wilshaw has stated that struggling schools are no better off under academy control.

In the beginning, the Academisation programme was hidden behind lies of “improving schools”, or ‘reforming education”. The evidence now presents this as a sham, as academies are failing, and one wonders whether the intention is to reacademise the failing academies, or perhaps a new, equally shallow word will be introduced. This programme is, and always has been about privatisation of our state education system, and about profits for companies who wish to speculate. There is privatisation of exam boards, textbooks and buildings, of teacher’s careers and even input on the curriculum itself.

But it is more ominous than all that. They seek to control as well as profit. They seek  a division of our society, where the principle of a universal, comprehensive education system becomes dead and buried. Will they seek to gain control of future generations walking into a zombie world?  I consider Tories underestimate the intelligence of people. I have hope. There is massive opposition  to Academisation of our schools. That voice must be heard, and Labour must oppose  this policy and call for a return to LEAs or teacher managed consortia.

The Eton-Educated Tories are blinkered. The principle that education can be bought is indeed flawed, and evidence shows that education systems are most successful where privatised schools are banned. Societies are successful where its citizens are well educated and  informed,  where skills can develop, where the Arts and Science thrive. But the Conservative Party does not look to improve learning, the quality of life of the majority of citizens, or the development of skills and industry. They seek to make profits and will do so until there is nothing left, but a wasteland –  unless we oppose this and provide an alternative. Labour must  oppose Tory privatisation of our schools,  and reintroduce local consortia where communities support all children for mutual benefit of us all.

We must not allow them to gamble with our children’s lives.