Shaun Doherty outlined the developments in the government's academies privatisation plans (Frontlines, Socialist Review, November 2008). More has since come to light.
Edison, a US education business, is to manage three new academies and charge each £1.2 million over three years for the privilege. Edison work as a consultant to 60 schools in England and are closely linked to the Republican Party. This June they had four schools seized back from them by Philadelphia Schools District, having failed to deliver. In 2002 their shares plummeted. To stay solvent they sold off their books, computers and lab equipment.
These developments are meeting resistance. Strikes in Bolton and Derby have shown the depth of opposition amongst teachers. The proposed UCL Academy has been brought to court. Local campaigners are challenging the way sponsors are chosen for academies. If successful it will have repercussions for every proposed academy in the country.
Alasdair Smith, Anti Academies Alliance, London