spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All Campaigns subcategories:

Anti-capitalism

Anti-fascist

Anti-racism

Anti-war

Asylum

Black and Asian

Children

CNWP

Corporate crime

Disability

* Education

Election campaigns

Environment

EU

Finance

Food

Gender Recognition Act

Health and safety

Health and welfare

Housing

Human Rights

LGBT Pride

Local government

Local services

Low pay

Migration

Nationalisation

New workers party

NHS

Pensions

Post Office

Poverty

Privatisation

Public Services

Socialism

Socialist

Sport

Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Students

The state

Transport

TUSC

Welfare rights

Women

Workplace and TU campaigns

Youth


Education keywords:

Academies (190)

Classroom assistants (8)

College (276)

Colleges (92)

Council (2272)

ESOL (5)

Education (1090)

Free Schools (16)

Grant (33)

Higher Education (80)

Medway (14)

Ofsted (16)

Performance (31)

Performance-related (7)

SATs (25)

School (583)

Schools (414)

Students (1229)

Teachers (481)

Teaching assistants (29)

Universities (148)

Free Schools


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 811, 14 May 2014: VOTE TUSC - For the millions not the billionaires

Search site for keywords: Free Schools - Schools - Education - Budget - School - Academies

Gove robs education budget to fund divisive 'Free Schools'

Martin Powell-Davies, NUT executive

Tory Education Secretary Michael Gove is an easy target for comedians. A tweet from David Schneider - "Free Schools to be renamed 400m-From-Budget-For-Other-Kids-Schools" - succinctly summed up the latest news. Unfortunately, Gove's policies are no laughing matter.

Reports suggest that these millions are being diverted from the Basic Need budget, urgently needed by local authorities to provide additional school places, into his pet Free Schools project instead.

'Free Schools' are newly-opened privatised academies, 'free' of those cumbersome regulations like having to staff classes with qualified teachers and having to use recognised school buildings.

They are a key part of Gove's ideological mission to accelerate the break-up of state education, replacing accountable local authority schooling with privatised academies. As with the rest of the public sector, education can then also become another avenue for big business to make money, especially if staff pay and pensions can be cut.

Gove appears to have an ideological belief that 'the market works'. The history of privatised services, and the recent history of free schools, tells a different story. Several Free Schools have been hit by high-profile scandals over financial mismanagement and poor educational provision. One of the first to open, Discovery New School in Crawley, has already been forced to close. Yet 3 million was spent on this failed project. In Sweden, the policy has proved disastrous.

Altogether, 174 Free Schools have opened so far but many in areas where there is no pressing need for additional places.

However, in areas like London, where the place shortage is becoming critical, councils aren't being allocated the 'basic need' funding they urgently require. 400 million could help fund about 30,000 much needed places.

Even if funding is allocated to Local Authorities, Gove has changed legislation to prevent them opening new community schools where they are needed. Instead, new places have to be provided by Free Schools.

The cross-party Public Accounts Committee has started to question Gove's profligacy and both Labour and the Lib Dems have used the issue as an opportunity to knock government policy. Unfortunately, while both parties might want to show opposition as we approach a general election, their education policies suggest that, if in office, they will follow a very similar path.

Instead of leaving school provision to a chaotic and inefficient free-for-all of private providers, elected local authorities should be given the job of planning and providing well-resourced new schools - and be given the investment needed to do so.

The Free Schools fiasco exposes the madness of the free market ideology that forms the agenda of all the main political parties. Trade unions have a responsibility to lead a community struggle to defend public services and to win the resources needed to meet public needs.







Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999