Academy Plans Hit By Friendly Fire

Opinion / April 25, 2016

In the midst of the Brexit referendum we learn of another significant, educational, debate that is also bubbling beneath the surface.

The academy transformation project led by Nicky Morgan aims to convert all primary and secondary schools into academy status has hit a wobbly bit. Ironically conservative MP’s are leading the internal backlash. Their view is that successful schools currently led by conservative councils should not pass to commercial academy operations.

This partisan view overlooks several factors. Where is the voice of the teaching fraternity and what is to become of successful council led schools in Labour et al. areas? Currently a conservative U-turn is in the offering. The Secretary of State for Education has got it wrong. Not that she necessarily has the wrong ideas but they have not been thoroughly ested in the environment in which they are to operate.

The dictatorial approach of, ‘temporary’ government ministers will not work in an environment that is staffed by specialists who have a lifetime’s experience. Nicky Morgan and Jeremy Hunt are finding that out the hard way. Clearly, as we have said so many times in the past, something needs to be done. But whatever route is proposed, the Secretary of State for education needs to send scouts out, firstly to gather intelligence, then to test reaction to proposals. Nothing new here, Napoleon and Wellington won many wars based on sound intelligence and the ability to listen to opinion before developing their strategy. Ignoring this approach results in internal conflict and a government constantly committing to U-turns and concerned criticism.

This state of affairs is even more concerning when the timescale for an educational plan to mature and be proven can take a generation. Oops we got it wrong is no accolade in a rapidly changing world. And whatever the result of the Brexit referendum we will need some extremely well educated children to take over and make Britain Great again.








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