Forced down the wrong path

Education secretary Michael Gove claims to promote freedom and autonomy for schools and college leaders. In fact, power has been centralised to an unprecedented degree, with the role, and finances, of local councils dangerously whittled away. The rapid growth of centrally funded academies and free schools is diminishing democratic accountability.

There are real worries about the methods used to create academies. The Education Act 2010 was forced through by the use of powers intended for emergencies such as terrorism. Meanwhile, many schools have been rushed - or worried - into switching status, their local communities given little meaningful say in the process. Forced academisation is now proceeding, again without community consultation. We are constantly told the changes are necessary in the name of increased social mobility, yet the abolition of the education maintenance allowance and the tripling of tuition fees give the lie to this claim.

England urgently needs policies that promote a coherent and genuinely fair alternative, building on the proven success of international systems that combine equity with excellence.

Richard Pring - emeritus professor of education, University of Oxford

Melissa Benn - writer and campaigner

Trevor Fisher - editor, Education Politics; and 14 other signatories from the education sector.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now