School academies: not all good, or all bad – but all in need of a helping hand
The 'academy' category is more diverse than it ever was under New Labour and has shot up roughly twelvefold
They might disagree, but from the education secretary, Michael Gove, to the NUT leader, Christine Blower, everyone in the educational world seems to have a strong view on academies. The first thought on reading the report is that these schools cannot all be good or bad – both because there are suddenly so many of them, and because the "academy" label is being slapped on to different sorts of institutions.
The overall tally has shot up roughly twelvefold since Gove got his feet under the desk at Great Smith Street – compared with the 206 Labour academies. Those were highly atypical schools: big, inner-city institutions, flush with cash, and often, though not always, in gleaming new buildings. Even back then, there were two distinct models – the mark 1 Blairite creations, which were set up with the help of a sponsoring sugar daddy who stumped up £2m and the more regulated mark 2 creations of the Brown premiership, not reliant on philanthropic whim.
Read more ... (The Guardian - 10 January)