The English government have just abolished public education


#1

In a move that’s so right wing and stupid that it hasn’t been tried somewhere in the USA yet, the English government have just quietly abolished public education. The full impacts of this will take a number of years to be felt fully, but this is an utterly destructive move which will take at least 50 years to reverse.

The upshot:
All state schools in England (Thankfully, at least it’s only one out of the four nations governed by Westminster) are going to be converted to Academies.This means:

  1. Local government has no control of local schools any more.
  2. All school buildings and facilities have been transferred to the new academies (an act of massive theft of public resources)
  3. At a stroke- national pay and conditions for Teachers have been abolished
  4. These Academies are allowed to be run by chains, or sponsors- brining profit making corporations into the provision of education everywhere along the chain.
  5. National curriculum standards have been abandoned.

Therefore, we’re all set for a slow-motion race to the bottom as large chains of privateers take over local schools, Pay and facilities will be stripped to the bone to provide dividends for shareholders, we will see minimum legal provision of services to maximise profit and the taxpayer will be left to pick up the tab.

It’s also designed to be irreversible, as all the buildings and facilities have been transferred to private ownership, making it prohibitively expensive to bring schools back under democratic control.

There we are. Wholesale asset stripping of an entire new sector. Coming soon to the NHS as well.


#2

Holy shit. This sounds like a massive change to education across the board. It does sound like they have been paying attention to the rise of charter schools here in the US. I’d also suspect it was easier to do in the UK, as things are much more standardized at the national level than they ever have been here in the US, where we have a weird piecemeal system.


#3

Just want to verify: when you say “public” education, you mean the way we mean it on the U.S. side of the pond, right? Because Public is a form of private education over there. What we think of as public, they call Comprehensive or a state school.


#4

Yeah, I was translating for the largely US-centric BBS audience. I mean state-run schools.


#5

Well fuck… thats just appalling. Dear english speaking peeps on the other side of the pond please wake up and quit one upping us yanks at how to be a shitty government.


#6

[quote=“TobinL, post:5, topic:75092”]quit one upping us yanks at how to be a shitty government.
[/quote]

Fat fucking chance. Did you see how Labour and the SNP couldn’t even be arsed to take a position on the snoopers charter today?


#7

Oh, that picture looks bad. Mucho, mucho malo, to mix my languages a touch. I look forward to a similarly weak effort at resisting the bill in the US when it finally comes 'cross the pond.

I’m mildly amazed that America hasn’t done this first, given our headlong rush to privatize everything. I’m sure we’ll get there soon enough.


#8

Every one of the Republican presidential candidates has promised us the same thing, under the banner of “Abolish the Department of Education.” Will we see this turn into a disaster in the UK and avoid the same fate? I’m not betting on it.


#9

This is fucking horrific.

Pepsi?

Partial credit!

On what little bright side there is, it’s more ammo for Corbyn come 2020…


#10

Ammunition! I told you he was dangerous! He’s got ammunition and probably a gun! The murderous lunatic!


Will be interested to see how my tory supporting relatives spin this one.


#11

the most worrying aspect of academies is not the influence of the private sector, but of religious organisations. religious schooling is probably the single biggest reason for the failure of multiculturalism in Britain. Cameron has been as bad as Blair on this issue.


#12

There’s nothing wrong with academies or charter schools in principle btw, there needs to be a strong regulatory framework for them to work though, enforcing standards, ensuring access, etc. The way this thing is set up though is a complete shambles.


#13


#14

Selfishly: Wow. I hope it’s such a screaming nightmare we never try this here.

Selflessly: Wow. I hope it’s such a screaming nightmare im-fucking-mediately that it brings down the current asshats who made it happen and ruins their careers forever before being set right.

Id: What can I help you burn down?


#15

We haven’t because there is no top down, federal run school system… but what do you think the voucher program and various sorts of charter schools are, if not privatized schools. Oh, and don’t forget that many southern states actually shut down their state school systems for a while rather than integrate. We’re doing it, but in bits and pieces instead of at once like this.

We are, slowly, in failing districts.


#16

Ah yes, the charter school, voucher, and metric-driven funding scams. I almost forgot about those. When you don’t have kids, it’s easy to forget the clusterfuck of molten metal we’re slowly lowering ourselves into, like Schwarzenegger at the end of Terminator 2.


#17

and often to good effect.


#18

Hey! We’ve got a lot on our plate right now. Gives us time. We’ll be there to greet you at the bottom of the barrel one way or another.


#19

It can be - when it’s involving the parents, listening to the community, and is not driven by profit. But it also shrinks the spaces available so that there are winners and losers in the lottery, and pulls away funding from the public school system. And as it’s often administered by a private corporation (either for or non profit), there is often little transparency.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-private schools, as I send my own kids to one. I just want to point out that there are plenty of successful public schools (read up on the Decatur City schools in Atlanta, for example) and unsuccessful charter schools. If we want to have students that do well, we need to figure out what works to best educate all children, and implement that across the country. that means taking some ideas from the private sector and applying them to the public, and it means the opposite too.

Me? Montessori, FTW! Gives you good teach student ratio, without having to make classes tiny. It allows kids who are good a self-management to do their thing, and those who need more guidance also have it. It works well with the theories of childhood development of people like Piaget, and it’s is flexible enough to incorporate need concepts and ideas, without losing the core of the method.


#20

Merci. I do suspect though that most BBS readers are use to the UK terminology, even if it takes a moment to process.