Dear Editor. Michael Gove stated in his interview (Post May3) that parents are voting with their feet for academies.
We will have to take his word for this, since he does not offer any real votes on academisation.
No academy has ever been approved by a vote of parents, they are never given the option.
And taking anything Mr Gove on trust is a dangerous practice, since his behaviour has little contact with any form of democracy, and certainly not on the forced academisation of primary schools in Birmingham or elsewhere.
He is quite wrong to say that academisation is justified because “all the evidence is that it is on a journey to improvement”.
There is no evidence of any kind for primary schools, since none existed before the 2010 Act.
Eighteen months later primary evidence is non-existent and secondary evidence disputed.
Indeed, one of the arguments about this rapid move to take over schools is that they are already improving – but if they are taken over now, the improvements can be put down to the takeover by the government.
If this is felt to be unduly cynical, the public should note the comments of local heads in a recent national paper article on the Birmingham programme that one head teacher was told that opposing the Department of Education was ‘career suicide’ and that the National Association of Head Teachers reports that more than 20 schools had contacted them to say that they are being forced to become academies against the will of heads, governors, staff and community. Are we living in Stalin’s Russia?
The programme must be suspended and a review (preferably a judicial review) of Mr Gove’s behaviour instituted immediately