It does seem to be all about the money. And all about something for nothing. That ‘something’ represents the collective expenditure of ourselves, our parents, their parents, their parents… right back to the 1870s when far-sighted, enterprising individuals with a social conscience and something missing from the new rich of today, a concept of ‘noblesse oblige,’ decided that the nation’s best interests would be served by educating all our children to a minimum standard. The best architects designed and built the schools to exacting standards. Many of these schools are still in use. Other land set aside for recreation and playing fields has already been disposed of at bargain-basement prices.
And these people who want to walk off with our public buildings, land and institutions with a sleight-of-hand are those who will tell you that you can’t have something for nothing.
In a very welcome move Birmingham City Council has this week deferred decisions on academy conversion at 8 schools amid concerns about asset stripping and the practice of writing off debts for converting schools. This should come as a huge relief for the ordinary citizens of Birmingham, many of whom have probably been unaware that they have been haemorrhaging public assets and funds to the academies programme in this way over the past two years.
Matters had been set to get even worse with Michael Gove targeting the city’s primary schools for forced academy conversion. A plethora of new sponsors – many with little or no experience of running schools – has emerged in response to the Government’s forced academy programme, and they have been hovering like vultures over Birmingham schools. Meanwhile, the more established sponsors have been digging in. ARK announced in March…
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