UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Why Labour needs to commit to LEA accountability

It is not surprising that the Academy experiment is showing serious signs of failure. Deregulated education models, a laissez faire approach to standards and replacing experienced education professionals with enthusiastic amateurs is a recipe for the failure we are now seeing with no less than ten E-Act academy schools seeking ‘new sponsors’ after Ofsted raised serious concerns.

It is scandalous that successful Governments have sought to meddle with a largely successful educational model not by addressing the resources needed to enable all children to fulfil their potential but by concentrating on structures and removing the very regulation and control designed to ensure that schools do not fail and parents can achieve accountability through the LEA and ultimately the ballot box.

The latest sign of academy failure should be a signal to Labour to wrestle the education debate back onto the territory of local accountable education services – instead we have the spectacle of Tristram Hunt arguing that what we need is more of the same. Reforming academies and stepping up regulation will not tackle the fact that it is a failed model for education. You would be lucky to find a cigarette paper behind the bike shed to slip between Hunt’s policies and those of Michael Gove. Perhaps Mr Hunt should have paid more attention in class to Albert Einstein’s teachings: ‘Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’.

Anna Rose