Council should not have to step in to sort out academy issues

Council should not have to step in to sort out academy issues

Council should not have to step in to sort out academy issues

First published in News

TODAY’S report that Oxfordshire County Council is intervening over pupil absences at two city academies raises worrying questions about moves to give schools greater independence.

The mantra for giving schools academy status – freeing leaders from council control – was that heads could run their schools without outside interference and it would in fact improve standards.

A noble idea perhaps and one that’s becoming more common in the public sector, particularly in the NHS where GPs control budgets and hospital managers with foundation status have much greater say over their priorities.

Yet taxpayers now face paying twice to sort out problems at St Gregory the Great Catholic School and Oxford Academy which – through the school and the council – are already saddled with creaking finances.

It’s to be welcomed that the council still clearly cares about the welfare of all pupils because, when it comes down to it, the schools can take or leave any help or advice they offer about pupils not turning up for class.

Yet as academies are directly funded by central government and independent of local authority control, surely it’s Mr Gove’s Department for Education that should be ensuring academies are doing their job properly and the DfE which should be footing any bill.

Just leaving heads to it could produce fantastic results – but it is also a recipe for complacency, paralysis of decision-making and political infighting.

Our top stories:

Snow across Oxfordshire - in readers' pictures + forecast

Oxford Mail:

7:43am Saturday 31st January 2015

IT'S been snowing overnight in Oxfordshire and here's some of the pictures our readers have sent in.

Record broken as more than £500,000 raised for Poppy Appeal

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 31st January 2015

THE POPPY Appeal’s fundraising target has been smashed in the county.

Man left with serious head injuries after being hit with wooden item during fight in Bicester

Oxford Mail: Foorball forges links between police and youngsters

3:17pm Saturday 31st January 2015

THREE men have been arrested after a man was left with "serious injuries," police say.

Healthcare worker brought back from Africa to UK for Ebola monitoring via Brize Norton

Oxford Mail: RAF logo

1:20pm Saturday 31st January 2015

A British military healthcare worker has been brought back to England for Ebola monitoring after suffering a needle-stick injury while treating a person in Sierra Leone.

Oxford United striker Danny Hylton says they are ready for Stevenage battle

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 31st January 2015

Danny Hylton has warned Oxford United will get “eaten alive” at Stevenage today unless they match their hosts’ appetite for a battle.

Celebrations as the Blavatnik building is 'topped out'

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 31st January 2015

BUILDERS and Oxford University dons have celebrated “topping out” one of Oxford’s newest and most prominent buildings.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree