Warning To Bristol Schools

Bristol's failing schools have been warned to improve or face direct Government intervention.

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Bristol schools told to improve: full report

Bristol's failing schools have been warned to improve or face direct Government intervention. Education Secretary Michael Gove has told The West Country Tonight he'll force the poorest performers to convert to academies.

There are now more academy secondary schools in the city than conventional comprehensives, a move Mr Gove believes will drive up standards. But unions warn it's gambling with children's futures.

Our Education Correspondent Richard Payne reports:

Teachers' union response on failing schools

The Government is bit-by-bit dismantling any coherent provision for our children’s and young people’s education.

It is a myth that power will be put into the hands of head teachers and teachers as many academy chains adopt top-down structures and policies which all their schools have to work within.

Voices from across the board have raised concerns that getting rid of the role played by local authorities is not a wise move.

At the very least their functions will have to be replaced by another ‘middle tier’, which no doubt will raise its own issues of accountability and cost.

Very few schools have shown enthusiasm for converting to academies. Of those who did so voluntarily, a 2012 survey of heads by Reform showed that in the majority of cases they did so to take advantage of the additional funding they received.

It is for this reason that the Education Secretary has had to look at ever more ruthless measures to boost the numbers of academies, forcibly converting schools through ever changing floor targets, league table criteria and Ofsted inspection demands.

Michael Gove is presiding over an education policy that does not work, is socially divisive and which does not have the support of the overwhelming majority of teachers.

As the Bright Blue think tank has made clear, the Conservative Party’s education agenda is not about standards but about reshaping our schools in preparation for them to be run for profit.

Future generations of children will pay the price of this folly unless it is stopped.

– Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers


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