Pro-academy group launches PR exercise as concerns grow re mass academization

Janet Downs's picture

Academy trusts must ‘control the narrative’ which has been dominated by opponents of academization, says the Confederation of School Trusts (formerly FASNA, the pro-academy group with close links to former education secretary Michael Gove).

CST claims its ‘think piece’, Systems of meaning – three nested leadership narratives for school trusts, is not just a public relations exercise. This is disingenuous.  It adds to the deluge of pro-academy propaganda which has poured from the Department for Education since 2010.  It’s the DfE and its supporters which have sought to control the narrative.  

The trust says the English education system is fragmented.  That’s true, but it's academization and its supporters who are to blame for this fragmentation. 

The country will ‘move irrevocably towards every school in England being part of strong and sustainable group of schools,’ says CST.  Mass-academization, in other words, with all schools being part of a multi-academy trust.

Warwick Mansell (£) warns about a possible move by the government to academise all of England’s state-funded schools  He reminds readers about what happened when former education secretary, Nicky (now Baroness) Morgan tried to force all schools to convert:

Yet the plan, which if implemented would have seen all schools in the process of academising by this year (2020), had to be abandoned after an uprising in particular from Conservative councils, and from some Tory backbenchers.’

‘In particular, the idea of forcing time-consuming and costly structural reform on primary schools in cases when they were faring well without such change may not have been welcomed by parents.’  

The majority of English schools (58.4%) are still LA-maintained. This suggests most schools, particularly those in the primary sector, wish to remain under the stewardship of their local authority rather than give up their autonomy by joining a MAT.

Schools Week has an article about CST’s publication. 

UPDATE 18 January 08.50:  Article updated to include links not available at time of writing 

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