Education: academies and free schools

Councillor David Williams, leader of the Green Party group on the County Council, is calling on the Council to condemn and dissociate itself from the continued expansion of the Academy and Free Schools programme, as recently announced.

David Williams explains:

“Green Party County Councillors are calling on the County Council to write to the Secretary of State for Education to follow the example of the Swedish Government and end this experiment in Academy and free schools. All schools should return to democratic control and accountability through local education authorities (LEAs). These schools, like all existing state schools, should have clear universal professional standards, commitment to a similar curriculum, non-selective criteria  and general equity in funding.

“The County Council should be concerned at the billions of pounds that have been diverted from mainstream education to try to make Academies and Free Schools work and the dramatic impact this has had on LEA schools funding. This massive imbalance in expenditure is still being undertaken with very little to show in terms of real improvements to educational outcomes.  We do not see this type of failure visited upon schools in Oxfordshire, and on to our children.

“The Council should be concerned that the obvious advantages in collectively improving the quality of local education provision provided via the LEA are being wasted in the fragmentation and atomisation that Academies and Free Schools generate.”

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