Struggling schools face a new cut of £1 billion, as the Tories attempt to claw back an overspend in its budget for expanding the Academies programme.
Academy conversions have accelerated dramatically since the Coalition came to power, with an increase of over 1,000%. A special fund was set up to encourage schools to sever their ties to local authorities and convert to Academies, but due to the overspend, local authority schools are effectively being punished for not converting by having their budgets raided to plug the gap.
Education Secretary Michael Gove is a belligerent proponent of the Academy model, explicit in his view that all schools should convert. The profligate overspend on a budget that is essentially his war-chest for waging fight to proliferate Academies is an indication of the deeply ideological way in which Gove is using his department’s budget.
Strikes by teachers at Worthing High School and Connaught Schools for Girls in Leytonstone, East London, succeeded in disrupting their schools’ Academy conversion plans; more sustained strikes elsewhere, combined with community campaigns, could achieve more.