Chance to find out more about Academies

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THE recent stories about Thomas Clarkson and Neale-Wade Community colleges and their head teachers prompted me to look more deeply at Academy schools.

The last government told us academies were the answer for failing schools. However, a recent survey by the Guardian newspaper casts significant doubt on this claim.

Last year 47% of primary academies and 27% of secondary academies performed worse than they did in 2010. Two primary academies achieved the status of becoming the worst performing schools in their respective boroughs. Despite this evidence the new coalition government is hell bent on turning as many schools as possible into academies.

However, this appears to fly in the face of government policy on localism and devolving power to local people. At present local schools are run by governing bodies mostly made up of local councillors and others who live and work locally and have an interest in local education. Under academy status the number of local governors is restricted.

Local councillors and governors can still represent the interests of the whole community at Neale-Wade.

Whether or not we have children of school age, we all have an interest in our local schools. We pay for them through our taxes, but how many of us are fully consulted? How much do we know about the people who will soon take over running Thomas Clarkson? How many of us had a vote?

I have recently heard that Wisbech and March Trades Council are hosting a meeting at Neale-Wade Community College on June 30 at 1pm about academies. This is a chance to find out a lot more about academies, what they mean for local schools, what they mean for taxpayers.

Mrs S Dockett

Wisbech