9th January: The Independent reports that the coalition’s flagship academy schools programme does not necessarily provide any better performance, and flouts rules on selection to artificially pick the best pupils.
The [Acadamies] commission, headed by the former chief schools inspector Christine Gilbert, says it was told of examples of academies “willing to take a ‘low road’ approach to school improvement by manipulating admissions”. The decision to give them control over their own admissions practices has, it adds, “fuelled concerns that the growth of academies may entrench rather than mitigate social inequalities”.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, warned: “This is a situation which will only get worse as the Government hands yet more schools over to unaccountable sponsors and allows more free schools to open.”
Stephen Twigg, Labour’s Education spokesman, said the report showed the school system was becoming “chaotic, impacting on standards and fairness”.