Academies could ‘fuel social segregation’
The rising number of schools in England with academy status could fuel rather than improve social segregation, says a report by the Academies Commission.
The report says some academies may “covertly” select pupils by using extra information on families or holding social events with prospective parents.
I heard an interview on the radio about this and what was immediately clear was that it was unclear just where the evidence came from to support the claims…..the person from the Academies Commission (so called…it is entirely unconnected with government….and is a private initiative) was very coy….only saying some parents and schools had complained.
Well we know the reaction of the NUT and other teacher unions to academies….and who were the parents? You may think hardly a disinterested bunch in undermining academies and Michael Gove.
And just what is the ‘Pearson Think Tank‘ which set up the Academies Commission as the BBC tells us, but without revealing any more…..
The Academies Commission was set up by the Pearson Think Tank and the RSA charity to examine the implications of the “mass academisation” of state schools.
Having read the below you might have thought the BBC, well known for its determined efforts not to allow a right wing think tank or ‘pressure group’ to go unlabelled as such in the interests of balance, would have something to say about what turns out to be an enormous corporation that has its fingers in many educational pies….and may have an interest in stirring up discontent about school standards…so that it can then provide the ‘solution’….all at a reasonable cost of course…….
I guess the BBC are happy to look the other way when one of the Coalition’s flag ship, and most successful policies, is under attack….or perhaps it doesn’t want to attack a company that it works closely with in its BBC Active capacity….
Pearson’s core education publishing business includes, in this country, the brands of Heinemann, Longman, BBC Active and the Edexcel publishing label.
Stephen Ball, professor of the sociology of education at London University’s Institute of Education and an expert on education business, sees Pearson’s school-improvement model, alongside its policy work, as particularly interesting. He says: “I think it’s related to an overall strategy: they want to offer products and services in all areas of school practice: assessment, pedagogy, curriculum and management, and they want to create the possibility for that through policy work.
“They want to have indirect influence in policy to create opportunities for business expansion. It’s a very well thought-out business strategy. I think we should be thinking about it, because a lot of it is going unnoticed.“
Or maybe noticed but ignored at least whilst it attacks Coalition policies.