2011 - the year of no secondary state schools under full LA control

Peter Shreeve's picture
The future is bright; the future is one without LA controlled secondary state schools.
The story is a complex one and is probably summed up by my speech at the ATL Conference earlier this year. If you would prefer to see the speech rather than read it, please click link

We would like to tell you a tale of local state education, aka ‘Sted’. (squeak!). Say Hello Sted.

One day Sted wasn’t feeling very well. In fact he was sick as a parrot.
So his owner took ‘Sted’ to the vet. As she laid her sickly pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest.

After a moment, the vet (who was also the LA Commissioner for Education), shrugged and said, "I'm sorry, your parrot Sted is dying." (squeak!).

The distressed owner, parent and taxpayer protested: "How can you be so certain? He’s only pining. I mean, the only tests you’ve done are Ofsteds.
He might just be nailed to his perch or stunned, having to work with such a difficult year group"
The Commissioner shrugged, turned, left the room and soon returned with a Labrador! As the owner looked on, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the table and sniffed the parrot from top to bottom. He then looked up at the Commissioner and shook his head.
The Commissioner left the room again. He returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table, sniffed the parrot, meowed softly and shook its head.

Looking at the woman, the Commissioner spoke, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is a dying parrot – an expiring parrot – an almost ex-parrot!" (squeak!).
He turned to his computer, hit a few keys and produced a bill. Shocked the parrot's owner took the bill. "£100!" she cried, "£100 just to tell me my parrot is dying!"
The vet shrugged, "I'm sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been less, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now £100! You see that’s what happens when you involve the Office of Public Management.”
But don’t worry, not all is lost, there are more consultations – it will go on and on for years causing anxiety!
Just like on the Isle of Wight, where the proposed new world of Academy schools, a Pathfinder school, a voluntary aided school, the federated trust schools and the College are causing educational equal anxiety for ALL! This leaves no secondary under full LA control - there are even plans for commissioning primary schools!
The LA as Commissioner is cutting direct services and support – the Intensive Support Service working with the most vulnerable is being closed.
Schools are in flux – my own school, last month after receiving an Ofsted ‘good with outstanding features’ report, has declared potential redundancies of 1 in 6 staff this month.
Many colleagues are having reorganisation interviews, as I speak, and most have their doubts over commissioning. Some have even raised the issue of industrial action, or to paraphrase Monty Python: “You cannot replace a Norwegian Blue with a slug!”(squeak!).
On behalf of the Isle of Wight members & Sted, I support this motion. Say Goodbye Sted.
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