Commenting on the latest academy figures released by the Department for Education, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“These figures come as no surprise. The Secretary of State has been working almost full time on his pet projects of academy conversion and free schools. This includes the resources of the Department for Education being increasingly tied up in persuading schools to leave their local authority family and become stand-alone institutions accountable to no one but the Secretary of State.
“Many of these new academies are schools that have been bullied and forced into academy status. Others have seen some short-term financial advantage of conversion since it is increasingly clear that academy status is one of the few ways that schools can access much-needed additional cash.
“Michael Gove’s vision for education is not the way forward for education. What it does however contribute to is the systematic dismantling of our state education system using tax payers’ money to bundle off land and property – not to mention the future of our young people and children – out of public control at best and to unaccountable unelected sponsors at worst.
“Academy status and free schools are a distraction from the real education issues such as chronic underfunding for capital repairs to schools and last week’s report from the Pearson think tank warning of plummeting teacher morale and looming teacher shortages. It is time the Secretary of State reshuffled his policies, rolled up his sleeves and got to work on the things that really matter in education.”
For further information contact Caroline Cowie on 0207 380 4706 or 07879480061