The Con-Lib, proposals to extend Academy status to every School in England must be of concern to us in Wales. Since both Cameron and Clegg view the National Assembly as little more than a glorified County Council they will attempt to force these measures on the government in Cardiff.
The proposal for which they are virtually following Tony Blair’s Education Reforms
On the face of it the proposals look promising but in reality they will end in extending the gap between schools whose catchments areas area those of economic decline, and those in more affluent areas.
Small wonder our Education policy has long been decided on by those who no experience of State Education, But the idea that you can open up schools to form o free market points to the new government not so much being the “Heirs of Blair” as that of Margaret Thatcher and Keith Joseph.
I have long been of the opinion that the major influence on the success Schools is the willingness of parents to participate in the School both in deed and financially. Indeed for this reason League Tables are meaningless unless it takes into account the aid parents give children out side schools in extra tuition or simply help with homework.
Indeed this is I admit partly due to the success of Welsh Language Schools where the parents are often highly active in the PTA.
But what the Con-lib government in the name of freedom and progress plan is to more or less make a school success dependent on the parent’s attitude to their children’s education. It will lead to parents being accessed on what they can give to the School both in time and financially. This will lead as to selection (although everyone will deny it)
The result over the years will be a growing gap between middle class schools where parents are vocal and able to financially aid the school, and schools which comprise of pupils whose parents do not participate at all. (Because of their own parent’s education experience) falling further and further behind and there will be no local authority to step in and try to remedy this.
Meanwhile government and free market propaganda will concentrate on the success stories and the true nature of the increasing class division that will invariably occur will be sidelined.
The Welsh Assembly must act now with positive measures to ensure these proposals are exposed for the negative and divisional reality that will ensue.