Murdoch company ‘set to sponsor academy’

By politics.co.uk staff

Rupert Murdoch’s News International may sponsor a city academy, according to media reports.

The Observer reported this morning that News International executives had discussed sponsoring a school near their headquarters in east London.

The move would raise serious concerns among Labour MPs in Westminster about the media mogul’s influence reaching the classroom.

Many politicians and activists are already suspicious of News International’s international and domestic influence. With substantive media interests in China, the US and Australia, and a serious impact on the direction of political debate in Britain through his ownership of several newspapers and Sky News, Mr Murdoch is already considered one of the most powerful men in the world.

Any suggestion the company is becoming involved in education as well could trigger protests from those already nervous about the reach of the Murdoch empire.

But the academy is expected to place a strong emphasis on journalism and multimedia training. It would link the company up with a school in Newham or Tower Hamlets.

Mr Murdoch’s US company, News Corp, already sponsors several schools in New York.

A National Audit Office report recently warned that sponsors have considerable influence in the running of academies.

The number of academies running in England and Wales currently stands at 203, but is set to rise to 400 in the next few months.