Socialist Worker

Primary schools are the new academies target

Issue No. 2116

At the start of the new school year, the government is intending to push its neoliberal agenda further into education. This week Lord Adonis, architect of the academy programme, declared that 'failing' primary schools should become academies.

Academies, which hand over the control of schools to unaccountable private sponsors, have so far focused on secondary education. The spin put on academies is that they improve education for the most disadvantaged. In reality they do the opposite.

Even though academies remain overwhelmingly funded by the government, private sponsors have control of the school, its staff and curriculum.

Academies expel around three times as many students as state-controlled schools. This means that poorer children or those with special educational needs are particularly vulnerable.

When schools minister Ed Balls unveiled a list of 'failing' secondary schools in June, 26 were academies – a third of all academies in Britain.

Academies give more power to business and don't provide decent education for children. The plans for primary education is just the latest proof that New Labour operates in the interests of big business, not working people.

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What We Think
Tue 26 Aug 2008, 20:58 BST
Issue No. 2116
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