Ethical void of the Academies Bill

2nd July 2010 at 01:00

In the Academies Bill, we have seen the nadir of 30 years' promotion of the politics of self-interest over public benefit ("Over half secondary leaders eye academy status," June 25). The fact that many heads see the benefits as primarily a "cash grab", on a "get it while you can basis" to benefit their own pupils and safeguard their own status should give them pause for thought.

Is not universal state education for the benefit of all, not some? How can differential rates of funding be justified? Heads need to think beyond pragmatism. Trampling on neighbouring pupils' needs in the pursuit of greater resources does not tie in easily with the idea of public service.

Heads could steal a march on their masters at the Department for Education if none opts for academy status. It would mark an act of solidarity that would show up Michael Gove's ethical black hole - which sits where his sense of a vision for a joined-up, fair and evidence-based national state education system should reside.

Helen Flynn, Campaign for State Education, Harrogate.

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