” … The invention of academies has involved a different kind of transfer of assets (schools) from public hands to private. In most cases, publicly owned schools are leased to academies and trusts on 125-year leases, with the local authority retaining the deeds. The academies must carry on educating children but can “maximise their assets” by using the premises to raise money. It is this area of money-making that has on occasions caused problems, as with Durand academy and its on-site businesses.
Academies can also flog off land and buildings, if the much weakened local authorities agree. Serious money can be made, management salaries are high, and hidden in all this is the long-term public subsidy in such sites.
The birth rate didn’t stay low. Children need schools. The very same councils that flogged off their prized school buildings are forced to squeeze children into overcrowded schools elsewhere in their districts. Fair enough: children from overcrowded homes should go to overcrowded schools, eh? Local authorities are not allowed to open new ones. The government solution is to use our money to send search squads to find and buy sites for new schools, some at enormous cost, such as £7.6m paid for a former police station, some within spitting distance of the ones now converted into flats.
I must remind myself that these new schools are called “free” and I do hope that these transactions and new arrangements have enabled a few thousand people to make some serious money out of the public sector. …”
DID EVERYONE GET THAT?
Without any manifesto pledge and without any significant debate in Parliament, the Government is privatising our education system under our very noses.
That is all that the Conservatives have in their policy book – privatisation, privatisation, privatisation – regardless of the consequences, regardless of the long-term damage, regardless of the impact on citizens and voters and in this case our children, regardless of whether people want it, regardless of whether it is a good idea or not, regardless of whether there is ANY evidence showing that it is beneficial.
If you voted Conservative in the last general election, then you voted for privatisation of schools, privatisation of local government, swingeing cuts to social services, privatisation of the NHS which requires several £10bns of our money spent on huge NHS bureaucracies whilst front line services are starved of cash, dodgy deals for favoured local councils whilst others have massive cuts, two orders of magnitude more people using food banks, the poor left to starve, the just-about-managing no longer managing, crises everywhere (social care, prison service, roads, education, NHS), massive tax cuts for the already unbelievably wealthy, tax increases and service cuts for the rest of us, unaccountable LEPs taking over local services (and the rich donors to the Conservative Party who run the LEPs paying themselves very well indeed into the bargain)…
If I sound angry, that is because I am. I voted Conservative for most of my adult life until 10 years ago, and so some of this is my fault. I no longer recognise the Britain I grew up in – Britain no longer feels British because the cultural values that characterise us as British are gone – values like integrity, compassion and fairness.
DO YOU LIKE WHAT IS HAPPENING IN BRITAIN?