Academy plan would silence voices on schools – Steve’s latest Croydon Advertiser column

Parents and teachers across Croydon are outraged at the Government’s plans to scrap local accountability of every school in the country. The Tories have announced plans to force schools to become academies, even where parents completely oppose it.

Instead of being rooted in local communities, academies are part of privately run companies that are often remote and unaccountable. Voices will be silenced by removing parent governors from governing bodies. The removal of the council’s power to build new schools has already left Croydon with the biggest shortage of places in the country, now that’s set to get even worse as the Government snatches away what little remains of local accountability.

It’s simply not possible for civil servants in Whitehall to oversee the country’s 24,000 schools without any local involvement, yet astonishingly this is what the Government is proposing. That will lead to more scandals like those in Birmingham where a lack of local oversight meant early warning signs were missed until problems had grown into full-blown crises.

Schools should be accountable to local parents and local communities where children are growing up, not to Whitehall civil servants and remote private companies. The Government must listen to parents now.

This article was published in the Croydon Advertiser on Friday 10th April 2016 and can be found here.


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