LABOUR PROMOTES academies as a solution to ‘failing’ comprehensive schools. Private sponsors, rich business people or corporations, religious charities or even rival private schools, can put in up to £2 million with the remaining £25 million or so of a new school’s finances coming from the government. This ‘investment’ means the sponsor can choose most of the school’s governing body and have a big influence on its ‘ethos’.
Many local authorities have been blackmailed into seeking sponsors for academy deals while parents are promised a new school with high-tech facilities. In reality academies, rather than improve education, can actually damage children’s education chances.