The answer, as with everything with this Tory government, was privatisation.
The question had been how to drive up standards in learning across the country.
Unsurprisingly, the Multiple Academy Chains which replaced Local Education Authorities made hay whilst the money was good and are now bleating when budgets are cut.
The MATs have had a patchy history, some embroiled in what amounted to embezzlement scams, with chief executives asked to, or forced to step down. Money has been misappropriated, often by those previously described as “superheads” on the basis of driving short term improvement in one school and then trying to take the same one trick pony of “do as I say and all will be well” to multiples of schools. The element that characterised many of those leading MATS was a fearsome cult of personality that would make the North Korean leadership blush.
The result, bolstered by a culture that looks for quick fix gains, is a toxic mix of threat and intolerance hidden behind glossy brochure and lashings of PR. There is no substance and for too many in the Academies, teachers and students, the culture is driven by intolerance and managerialism. exclusions and results gained at any cost.
I see another example here of the Chief Executive ensuring that the companies supplying goods and services to the chain are controlled by none other than himself! Thereby the Chief Executive can add the profits from supplies to his CEO salary! I really don’t understand how the CEOs can be so blatant in committed so transparent a fraud on the public purse. Where is the morality, and more importantly, where is the concern for the students here!
Accountability and governance is pitifully lacking once again – it has happened too often to be down to individual governors – clearly it is a systemic weakness.
One thing Local Authority schools could not do was walk away from their responsibilities as MATS have shown themselves very happy to do if running a school proves unprofitable!
Thanks to Tony Parkin for bringing this to my attention: Bright Tribe relinquishes all but one of its northern schools