Friday, July 23, 2010
Cond-Dem'd education plans a detriment to British education.
The Con-Dem'd government is pushing a law through the Parliament in a fast track procedure that is supposed to be used for emergency situation such as terrorism. By pushing the bill through in this nature it is avoiding the propper scruitiny that it requires considering the fundamental shifts it will make in the way education is supplied and paid for.
There are 3 major aspects of this law. The first is that groups of people can set up free schools. The idea is parents can set up their own schools and make their own curiculam. In practice the only parents who will be able to do this are the ones who make enough money that they can survive on a single income, in other words the very wealthy. In practice these schools are more likely to be set up by faith groups with required religious content.
The Second aspect is that existing schools have the right to apply for acadamy status, and this will be grandted automatically if the school is performing well. Academies get private sponsorship so todays Foodtech Lesson may be brought to you by McDonald's.
The Third aspect is that schools which have a good history in inspections will not be inspected as a matter of routine. They will only be inspected if standards fall. The problem is that if these schools set their own curriculam, then they can keep the marks artificially high.
These school will be paid for out of taxation, the proportion of money that previously went to local authorities will go direct to these schools, the problem is that the Local Authorities will still have to pick up the bill for additional costs that are going to the schools; furthermore the schools will be able to exclude students and keep the money for them for the rest of the academic year. This will mean that the schools will effectively be encouraged to expell poor students to have more money for fewer students and higher standards which will basically prove that theses schools "work" as they will achieve targets fairly easily without the struggling students. The local authoities will have to pick up the tab for the expelled students with money that they have not received from central government as that went to the Acadamy/Free School.
The very nature of these schools mean that they are likely to exist either in richer neighbourhoods, or cater to faith specific groups causing greater segregation in society. In practice public money will be used to fund what are essentially private and elite schools with no oversite from the local authority or local education experts, and minimal involvement from Ofsted.