Saturday, 26 March 2016
What Price Education?
This photograph of Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, actually tells you all you need to know about her. The same wide-eyed manic stare of Jeremy Hunt, the same vacant facial expression of Iain Duncan Smith masking a dim mind, the same furtive look of George Osborne as she internally adds up the money she can steal from taxpayers. This, God help us, is the face of British education for the foreseeable future. A future in which all schools, that's right all schools, will become academies. So what's so good about acadamies? Are they regularly out-performing state run schools? Hardly. Are they more efficient in terms of spending tax payers money? Far from it. So why do the Tories want to effectively privatise education? There are two main reasons. First and foremost is their desire to see a return of Grammar schools, though the model they are thinking of is far from the Grammar schools of the past. Rather than an escape route for clever working-class kids the Tory version is a means to entrench privilege amongst the better-off middle-class and, therefore, more deserving members of our society. Second, but by no means least, their model is one in which tax payers money will be channeled into the greedy hands of already wealthy Tory supporters. Only yesterday it was revealed that a Birmingham Academy Trust has been siphoning off tax payers money to the tune of over £1 million and then handing it to one of their head teachers, Liam Nolan, who just so happens to also be the Trusts Accounting Officer and Chief Executive. It has also been revealed that the Department of Education has failed to monitor the money that has been siphoned off by other so-called Trusts and then paid to private companies as "consultancy fees". Much of this money, surprise surprise, has ended up in the hands of friends and relatives of the trustees. In other words tax payers money is being diverted out of education and into the grasping hands of those who support and bankroll the Tory party. Fraud on a huge scale with more than a side-order of political corruption. Despite this the mad-eyed Nicky Morgan has told the National Union of Teachers today that the course she has outlined is irreversible and there is nothing they can do or say that will persuade her otherwise. Nor should the public think that some sort of control can be exerted on these Trusts by parent trustees. Only today Nicky Morgan has made it abundantly clear that parent trustees will not be welcome and that trustees should be "business people". In other words cronies of the Tory party who will be willing to divert at least part of the money they steal into Tory party funds. After the debacle over Iain Duncan Smith's resignation it is time that the people who did not vote for this criminal government, the 63% majority, to take the gloves off. This is not politics as most people would understand it. This is organised crime and those responsible for it over the last six years should be impeached, tried for conspiracy and fraud and given lengthy jail sentences.