This week will see the publication of a report by the House of Commons’ education committee which will basically state that the government’s programme introducing converter academies and free schools has simply failed. The programme has cost multi billions of pounds and has not significantly raised attainment of our young people involved.
The committee is a cross party committee, is not seen as partisan, so its report will have to be taken very seriously. The question will arise did David Cameron know the possible conclusions of this report early and so was prompted to replace Michael Gove with Nicky Morgan before publication?
The report is expected to confirm that the original academy programme introduced by the last government was in fact successful in raising standards but the Gove converter academy and free school programme has failed.
The education committee producing the report has taken evidence from policy makers and considered hard data on examination performance from the different types of schools in reaching its rather sad conclusions. Many teachers will not be surprised by these conclusions and will point to the increased bureaucracy that the so called reforms have entailed leading to greater work load which has distracted from the core purpose of raising attainment.
The report is also expected to make severe criticisms of the role of the Department of Education’s monitoring of academies in general and will call for a restructuring of how the department engages in this process.
No doubt once the report is published many excuses will be forthcoming and scapegoats will be suggested. Will Michael Gove blame the teachers (sorry Left Wing Blob)? Is it time that we take a hard look at how major reforms are introduced? Should there be mechanisms in place that allows the teaching profession more input into the process of reform?