The Reader: 100% academy chain teaching cuts freedom

·1-min read
Teacher study (PA Wire)
Teacher study (PA Wire)

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said all state school pupils in England should be taught in academy chains, stating that the pandemic has shown it is “no longer viable for schools to be single entities”.

This is a terrifying moment for individual freedom and parents’ rights to choose from a range of schools.

The pandemic has demonstrated that children need inspirational pastoral care and a curriculum and assessment model which is fit for the 21st century, delivered by leaders who know their communities. This is not the time for a factory model of education which commodifies children and young people.

We certainly need professional dialogue and joined-up thinking but we do not need a homogeneous corporate lumping together of children and teachers, or an outmoded conveyor belt world of production lines, when we are dealing with human lives.

Sarah Raffray

Editor’s reply

Dear Sarah

Some schools are part of academy chains while others are under local authority control, a system Gavin Williamson described as “pick and mix”. Teachers in all types of schools have spent the past year working incredibly hard to teach pupils remotely and keep track of vulnerable children. They are now navigating changes to exams and keeping classrooms Covid-secure. Thinking about the structure of their school is likely to be low down their list of priorities.

Anna Davis, Education Editor

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