Gove’s grab for power

Tom Freeman has a great little investigation into the upcoming Bill to push through hundreds of new Academy schools, and comes to the conclusion that parents and local communities will get far less influence than the Secretary of State for Education:

This Bill is not about ‘parent power’. It’s about Gove’s power to bypass local councils and parliament, and it’s about governing bodies being able to bypass parents.

Is it a good idea to change the academies programme from being a way to rescue failing schools into an optional upgrade for potentially any school? What will be the effect not just on the schools that go for it but also on the wider education system? I’m afraid I’ve not had the chance to think this through. I’m not sure who has.

Gove claims that we don’t need to consult on his idea because it was discussed enough during the election campaign (despite the small point that the Tories didn’t win that election, and their coalition partners stood on a different kind of policy to enable school partnerships under local authority control). And this – as well as the Free Schools – will be funded from the cancellation of the Building Schools for the future programme.

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