Real localism … a pipe dream

“Morgan [Education Secretary] is presiding over the greatest centralisation in the history of British education – at least since the Forster Act of 1872 and its notorious and short-lived “revised code”. Her proposed employment of academy chains to replace local education authorities is only a bastard privatisation.

It is so risky – like giving the NHS to Tesco or the Royal Navy to a cross-Channel ferry company – that it will need armies of commissioners to run it. They must find money, plan capacity, reorder admissions and extract measurable results to validate the reform. Already there are rumours that Morgan may reduce the idea to absurdity by renaming local education authorities as “chains” – millions spent on doing nothing.

The best school is one rooted not in a corporate culture but in its community. It is one in which teachers are answerable to that community and its parents. The role of the state, as in the health and social care, should be in inspection and financial support. When the state decides it must run something itself, it will fail. This reform will fail.”

In Devon, child services have already been outsourced to Virgin.

2 thoughts on “Real localism … a pipe dream

  1. Great post as ever guys. Couldn’t agree more about the “pseudo-privatisation” of our schools. Ultimately it is more spin and more name changes that achieves very little- except more spin and greater bureaucracy (at Whitehall AND locally)

    Centralisation is not the answer. But I have to say that localism may not be either. At least as some people would have it. Essentially there is a danger than more devolution (or localism or whatever name is fashionable!) is simply about inserting another layer of democracy/ bureaucracy into an already bloated system. Democracy is good (largely!) but that doesn’t mean we need more and more of it. MPs, PCCs, county councillors, district councillors, parish councillors and not to mention hundreds of quangoes, LEPs etc. everywhere. All taking their share as the money cascades downwards. Communities will see less and less (not more and more) if the system isn’t right – communities SHOULD own their local services. That means COMPLETE devolution of resources, authority, decision making, responsibility & blame – it should not be just a fourth (or fifth) tier of government. Council democracy already costs enough: –


  2. Trouble is, the interpretation of ‘localism’ and ‘democracy’ appears to vary according to which side of the fence one is sitting on, they definitely appear to be using a different dictionary to the ones we use! Probably writing their own dictionary.
    But one thing is certain ‘Our Leaders’ have completely lost it. Their brains seem to be be completely addled, nothing at all these days that they say or do makes any sense at all – not to us anyway! They serve their own interests at the expense of doing what is right for the people of this country. They are certainly not on our side. “localism and democracy as we know them are long gone.


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