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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 October 2016

Academies mired in debt and corruption

Fight for publicly run schooling

Teachers and students successfully struck against 'academy' status in Lewisham, south London, in 2015, photo by Socialist Party

Teachers and students successfully struck against 'academy' status in Lewisham, south London, in 2015, photo by Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Lucy Brotherston, teaching assistant

The new Tory government under Theresa May will continue converting state schools to 'academy' status and setting up new 'free schools'.

This, along with May's drive on new grammars, illustrates a determination to remove power from local authorities, replacing them with unaccountable private bodies.

The BBC recently got hold of figures suggesting 113 academy trusts in England have run up debts of almost 25 million.

And this, it seems, is the tip of the iceberg. The academies project has allowed unscrupulous businesspeople to redirect huge amounts of public money out of schools into their own pockets all over the country.

Meanwhile, the Observer found in 2015 there were two claims of "financial irregularity" against academies and free schools every month. There were 58 allegations in the three years from 2012.

Some have resulted in convictions for fraud. The Perry Beeches Academy Trust, which runs five secondary schools in Birmingham, paid nearly 1.3 million to a business which then paid a "second salary" to one of its headteachers, Liam Nolan.

Former Haberdashers' Aske's Federation accountant Samuel Kayode creatively accounted for 4.1 million. He was jailed for nine years.

Sajid Husain Raza is the former headteacher of Kings Science Academy in Bradford, West Yorkshire. His sister Shabana Hussain, a teacher at the school, and Daud Khan, its former financial director, were convicted of a total of 15 charges by a jury at Leeds Crown Court.

And there has been the saga around the 'irregular' financial dealings of Sir Greg Martin, former head of the Durand Academy Trust. He was knighted for his services to education and lauded by Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Academy Trusts behave like big businesses. They pay their headteachers huge salaries - figures in the hundreds of thousands are considered normal. Meanwhile, they ask staff living with pay freezes to reapply for their own jobs due to 'budget constraints'.

This situation is clearly not sustainable. We must stop academies and free schools. Fight for high-quality, fully funded, publicly owned and run schools, under the democratic control of staff, parents and the community.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 26 October 2016:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Protest and strike to save our NHS

Health campaigners announce national NHS demo

Hundreds march and rally to defend Tyneside hospital


Socialist Party news and analysis

'Jungle' camp destruction is no solution

Welsh budget: Labour government makes Tory cuts

Academies mired in debt and corruption

Homeless sleeping rough: councils must build housing

Four in five self-employed workers living in poverty


Corbyn & Labour

Readmit expelled socialists

Wallasey whitewash must be condemned

Battle in Leeds council over care home closure


Jarrow March for Jobs 2011

Jarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth


Socialist Party workplace news

Teaching assistant pledges ongoing fight against pay cuts

A day in the life of a midwife

Striking Sheffield bin workers picket scabs

Crossrail sparks get organised

Unison higher education seminar points no way forward over pay


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Housing campaigners meet to plan resistance to the Housing Act

Why I joined the Socialist Party: "I really can't wait for Socialism 2016"

"We are all Daniel Blake!"


International socialist news and analysis

US presidential election: The disastrous failure of 'lesser evilism'

Ireland: Jobstown protester found guilty


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Book review: Fighting racism in football

TV: No Place to Call Home

Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

Academies:

triangleAnti-academy strikes growing

triangleNo to academisation of east London schools!

triangleAnti-academy strike action in Newham

triangleLabour votes to abolish academies and private schools

triangleAcademy strike - standing up to 'bullying' management forces climbdown

Debt:

triangleAct now to cancel Covid crisis rents and debt

triangleLebanon - mass protests cut across sectarian division

triangleNHS debt so high it can't be repaid - so don't pay it!

triangleMass movement topples governor of Puerto Rico

Schools:

triangleTory full return to school plans gamble with lives

triangleBoris's new big deal

triangleTories put profit before lives

Free Schools:

triangleSchools and teaching: A perfect storm of cuts, underfunding, excessive workloads and low pay

triangleCuts leave schools unable to meet basic needs

Trusts:

triangleSave our NHS

Pay:

triangleTory NHS betrayal

Education:

triangleTowards an anti-racist school curriculum

State:

triangleReaders' opinion

Michael Gove:

triangleTory drug hypocrisy

School:

triangleTV: The school that tried to end racism

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