Another short but fascinating piece I spotted today about the fight against academies here in Birmingham. Interestingly, the newly elected council have decided to defy central government and allow schools to remain under local authority control if they so desire. A step that doesn’t go far enough in my humble opinion, but nevertheless one to be welcomed, and one that demonstrates that there are differences, however small, between a Labour council and a Tory one. The talk of introducing a living wage is another example of that. The previous Tory run-council would naturally have done nothing of the kind.
It’s also ironic to observe that even though one of the current buzzwords in mainstream political discourse is ‘localization’ and this government makes great play of its desire to ‘devolve power back to local people’, education policy is heading in exactly the opposite direction. Local authorities are steadily having their control over education eroded, education secretary Michael Gove is quite ostentatiously ignoring the will of local people, plus the much vaunted ‘free schools’ negotiate directly with Whitehall to determine their funding. Which last time I checked is pretty much the direct opposite of localization. Funny that, isn’t it.
It remains to be seen if this move actually amounts to anything. On past form one would expect Michael Gove, surely one of the most conceited and unjustifiably egotistic people on the planet, to completely ignore this decision and just impose his preferred policy.
Sometimes it’s hugely depressing to note that all the policies that this government are turning to shit, but they are ramming them through regardless……