Friday, 5 November 2010

Faceless money-men in Stockholm

The government has been keen to portray local education authorities as monolithic bureauracies which are remote from the communities they serve, when in actual fact they are elected by the local communities they serve and have offices usually only a few miles from the schools they run.

So how does it feel that your local school, say one in Hampton, for example, is no longer run by a locally elected bureaucracy in Kingston, down the road, but from Stockholm? That's right, some schools in South-West London will soon be run from Stockholm, and by unelected faceless money-men whose main motivation for being in education is to make money. The government's so-called "free" schools programme, will now force schools, even those schools that are deemed satisfactory, to be converted to academies which will be run by large multinational corporations, one of which will be Kunskapsskolan, based in Sweden.

The last Tory government started off the 'academies' programme with highly undemocratic "one-way street" elections, in which parents of children at the school could vote to take their school out of local democratic control. The take-up of this was very small and few opted out of local democratic control. The academies programme has since become less and less democratic. Presumably this is because the local parents have refused to vite in the right way. Now there is no vote, now schools can be forced to bcome academies by diktat from the education secretary Michael Gove. No consultation will be required. Effectively Gove can privatise any school against the wishes of the parents and the local community. Power will be taken away and placed in the hands of the money men of Stockholm.

Obviously this is just an excuse for the government to centralise control of all schools in the hands of a small number of unelected private-sector companies, many of whom are based in other countries.

So much for the Tories' claim to be giving power back to the people. The Tories education policies represent the imposition of centrally-determined policies on each school, in this case from another country. This monolithic, one-size-fits-all regimented approach which is part and parcel of these large multinational companies' educational business will make every school the same, every school operating with the same policies as the one down the road, or in Sweden. The regimenting tendencies of unrestrained capitalism are being unleashed on our children. Lots of square pegs will be forced into round holes.

1 comment:

  1. Well, in Stockholm they have schools run by by unelected faceless money-men in Hampton...