Academies boom in the United Kingdom

It sounds like charter schools are going bloody well in the United Kingdom.

A revolution in British schools is happening under our noses. As Michael Gove announced last week, there are now 1,529 academies, compared with only 200 when the Coalition came to power. Not since the spread of comprehensive schools, 50 years ago, has there been such a radical restructuring.

The academy programme was the brainchild of Tony Blair and his minister, Andrew Adonis. Academies seek to emulate the independence of private schools: they are self-governing and independent of local government, which is one reason why local authorities, unions, and the Left in general have not welcomed their rapid growth. But unlike independent schools, they charge no fees, and receive funding direct from central government. The Government aims for all remaining secondary schools to become academies, and many primary schools too.

Of course the teacher unions and the Labour party don’t want to even try, just in case it is a roaring success. they prefer to operate in an environment that was designed and remains mired in the post industrial revolution of more than a century ago.


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  • Gazzaw

    It will be fascinating to watch the development of charter schools in NZ. Lets hope that Hekia gets cracking immediately and that the Nats score a win again in 2014 to give time for the system to get firmly established, win parental approval  & put the concept beyond reversal by any future leftist administration. The majority of teachers will back charter schools, there is a major misconception on this site that all teachers share the same values as Kosh – they don’t. There is mistrust of the unions but an unwillingness to rock the boat for obvious reasons. There is a dislike of the top heavy & PC bureaucracy and it needs a strong governmental hand to deal to that. There is a new generation of young teachers that will welcome the new challenges of charter schools and the opportunities that it will open up for them. Yes, the old guard will fight to the death but now is the time to move on this issue.    

  • Kosh103

    Now, where does the UK rank in the OECD education rankings compared to NZ? And the fact that their funding all comes from the Govt doenst make them charter schools.

  • Killjoy

    I’m still making up my mind about all this.

    I see some schools and principals doing some great stuff- even in some low decile areas- with under performing students however they seem to be just pockets and I do believe we need some more parameters in place to see exactly where the biggest needs are.

    I also believe that we need to be able to clearly measure a teachers progress however its certainly not a one size fits all approach as different decile schools have different needs and not all decile- like schools are the same.

    Teachers may seem like they’re “over watched” but if you look at any needs based outcome role, there should always be strict observation (inspect what you expect) in order to provide praise or correction.
    With my staff, certainly I think this is a human behaviour pattern, unless you don’t follow up with them on their progress, they will not achieve what they could/ would without this accountability.

    I would go so far as to say that unless they have a vested interest in what they’re doing (say a share of profits/ ownership) that an employee will do bare minimum (or less) unless they know that they’re being monitored.

    How we do that in the education sector- especially with primary education as if we get that right then secondary should follow- is the mute point…

    • Kosh103

      You dont know much about teachers if you think without a vested intrest they are not going to try their best.

      Only a very special kind of person really wants to be a teacher.