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31 January 2018

Failing academy chain strips school assets - end academisation!

Adam Abdullah, school student

In businesses when cuts are made, they sell off their facilities and equipment in the interest of maintaining profits. Now that's what's happening with our schools.

In December police confirmed they were looking into "asset stripping" by the Wakefield City Academies Trust which 21 schools are part of.

Wakefield had announced it had to get the Department for Education (DfE) to find new 'sponsors' for the 21 academies, as the "trust does not have the capacity to facilitate the rapid improvement our academies need." Turns out that in October the trust had transferred millions from school accounts to private accounts.

There was, in fact, a leaked DfE document that showed "extreme concern" at how much the trust was paying its chief executive for 15 weeks of work - 82,000. Meanwhile it was paying 440,000 into an IT firm run by the interim chief executive. All while the trust had a 16 million budget deficit!

The real question is: should we be surprised?

It's like the Tories were a classroom teacher and instructed the greediest child to distribute all the ice cream to their classmates equally. Obviously that child is going to take a huge chunk for themself and get their clothes dirty. They knew that.

Now, since the trust has announced it will begin to divest itself of these schools, it is up to the DfE to find new 'sponsors' to take over.

But how will profit-hungry academy chains make money from schools in such a financial mess? They will lie and lie, say that they care about the students, while attacking teachers and cutting resources.

Even Tory MP Robert Halfon has raised the issue in parliament, showing there is yet another crisis of the Tories' own making which could divide May's weak minority government.

The Socialist Party fights to end academisation, privatisation and 'PFI'. Our schools should be for our children to flourish in. They need to be brought back into public ownership under democratic control.

Young people are not for capitalists to profit from. Nor should the working class be expected to pay off the debts of the bosses like after the 2007-08 financial crash.