Academy / Free schools

Selling our schools: the ABC of privatisation

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As we head into the general election campaign it's hard to put a cigarette paper between the education policies of the three main parties. They all offer the same diet of privatisation and cuts.

Sponsorship of academies has enabled a series of national and multinational corporations to gain reputational value. Lucrative contracts for other education services have flowed.

City Academies - still touting for business

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The crisis of international capitalism will have a myriad of unforeseen consequences, one of which will be its impact on the privatisation of public services.

In education the battle around the privatised city academies is set to intensify. In two simultaneous, but apparently contradictory, developments the government has announced that it is expanding the academies programme to include a further 70 secondary schools, while many private sponsors are reported to be having second thoughts about their involvement. Something clearly has to give.

City academies: Barriers to learning

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"The management freedom given to academies should be rolled out across the whole state sector," said Richard Tice, chair of Northampton Academy school.

Tice is a member of the United Learning Trust board, the largest academy sponsor, and was commissioned by free market think-tank Reform to make recommendations on how to improve the education system. He suggests that a more "business-like" approach to running schools, with bonuses for managers, would improve the city academy programme.

Welcome to the Fraud Academy

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As mainstream politicians line up behind business driven schools, author Francis Beckett and teacher Alasdair Smith check the small print and discuss how to stop the schemes.

The frustration of writing a book about city academies is that scandals happen so fast. The whole scheme is so inherently grubby that, in the two months between finishing my book The Great City Academy Fraud and its publication last month, a dozen scandals happened to prove my point.

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