Thursday, 27 May 2010

Let's hear it for academies

When the brewer Matthew Brown was taken over by Scottish and Newcastle there was a huge outcry in Blackburn. How dare this huge firm take over a much-loved Blackburn firm? Well they did and shortly afterwards Matthew Brown closed. You would not think that Scottish and Newcastle would be popular but a couple of years later many Blackburn residents were walking round with McKewan's Lager on their shirt. They had sponsored Blackburn Rovers. Guess who owns McKewan's. Sponsorship may be a useful tool to make yourself popular even if you have just taken someone's job off them.

Academies are schools that allow for sponsoship. There may be some philanthropists out there but more likely sponsors are private companies. Why should they do it? What do they get out of it? Let's be generous and say all sponsors have the best intentions of the pupils uppermost in their minds when they pay out thousands of pounds. So far so good. Even better, academies are more attractive for staff. They have greater autonomy, greater spending capacity, better staff and they drive standards up.

If all these factors and more mean that academies offer a better standard of education this must mean that in relative terms and almost certainly in absolute terms all the other schools offer a worse standard of education.

It sounds to me like supporting academies is like supporting a company that has just sacked you, but at least sponsorship puts more money in so they can afford to tell us how good they are.

Change the world

1 comment:

  1. am sitting on fence about this one!
    On the surface it sounds good...but sharks don't always show themselves on the surface!