Give local governments powers to 're-nationalise' the lowest performing academies that were former publicly owned & run by local government

Posted on 05-12-18 by Hussain Qader Number of votes: 0 | Number of comments: 1

There is a growing evidence that 'academisation' is being undemocratically forced on primary & secondary schools in the UK even when both parents & teachers of those schools oppose it. Often time when those schools become 'academies' the executive board of that school no longer includes parents but predatory hedgefunds. Also when 'academisation' does occur it often entails the selling off of school land & playing fields (see link below) to property developers who usually have a connection to the financiers backing the 'academisation' of those schools. In effect it is a privatisation of the entire primary/secondary school system via the backdoor. Furthermore when 'academisation' does occur the standards often don't rise but drop, the employment conditions of teachers worsen, the classroom experience of children declines (e.g. class sizes increase and classroom equipment is no longer fully stocked to save on money).

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/05/private-takeover-schools-forced-academisation-waltham-holy-cross

 

I propose that in order to address this issue that:

 

1) Local governments be given powers to 're-nationalise' all the lowest performing academies in their borough that were former publicly owned (i.e. were in state hands - e.g. LEAs) & run by local government.

 

2) That the rate of compensations for those 'compulsory buy-outs' be, like the planned re-purchase of PFI contracts in the NHS, entirely defined by parliament.

 

3) That Labour investigates how this policy can be implemented quickly & cheaply without incurring protracted legal wrangling over such compulsory purchases & whether further 'academisation' of UK schools should be banned as well as investigate whether employment standards for school staff & learning experience for pupils has deteriorated.

 

4) That both a future Labour-run DfE & Treasury investigate all existing UK academies to see whether fraud has played a role in creating or maintaining some UK academies as well as whether those UK academies should be stripped of their academic status and handed back to the control of the LEA (i.e. local govenrment).

 

5) Investigate whether UK academies should be financially treated like 'public outsourcing' companies & as such be subjected to financial 'stress testing' just like other outsourcing companies in the public sector.

 

6) Investigate whether the management of all UK public schools (& remaining 'academies'?) should be re-structured on 'social democratic' lines (e.g it's playing fields treated as a 'commons' that cannot be sold) as well as whether it's teachers should be elected to it's executive board as much as it's parents & if whether all UK academies should be forced into becoming 'community co-ops' so as to not only return their democratic character but also to 'de-financialise' (e.g. permanently end the presence of predatory hedgefunds, outsourcing & introduction of precarious employment) the UK school system.

 

7) Investigate how all UK primary schools (both public schools and academies) can be encouraged to co-operate (e.g. share resources, teaching & administrative methods, specialist staff like lab technicians) with each other rather then compete.

 

8) Investigate whether the introduction of 'compulsory academisation' has had an adverse effect on meeting the educational needs of SEN school children.

 

9) Create a committee to investigate how the issues (e.g. privatisation via ' forced academisation') raised in 1-8 directly affects schooling in marginal parliamentary seats & have this material pertinently highlighted by Labour in those constituencies (i.e. on social media, raised on the doorstep & in the local press of that marginal parliamentary seat).

 

10) Have Labour investigate how the material generated from policy proposals 1 to 9 can be harmonised with Labour's current education policies.

Referring to: Early Years, Education and Skills

The Early Years, Education and Skills Policy Commission looks at issues relating to children’s wellbeing, development and care, as well as education training and skills from childhood through adulthood.

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