Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Education Secretary Michael Gove's New Education Policy to Turn Schools Into 'Academy' Faces Hurdles

In one big of the biggest policy changes to have hit the Britain education system in over a decade, Education Secretary Michael Gove sent invitations to over 20,000 schools in Britain to upgrade to Academies. According to his new policy academies will be able to work independently without having to report back to the local authority and prepare their own teaching method and curriculum. This bill does not place a cap on their salary that will be offered to a head teacher, meaning head teachers are in for one heavy treat this time around. This policy is aimed at improving stagnant British education system and to lower existing corruption in it. All the responses to his invitations, estimated to be around 2000 primaries and 500 secondary, will be put on a fast track processing system, providing the title 'academy' to those schools which prove themselves outstanding.
There are also people who are skeptic about the amount of freedom this bill offer to academies, despite the assurance offered by Michael Gove that no school will be entitled with the title 'Academy' without sufficient inspection. Since this freedom can be miss-utilized by bad companies or religious extremist groups to bring forward their agenda.
It has not even been a day since Michael Gove announced his new education plan to revamp the existing education system in Britain; his policy has already started facing flak from many influential corners and think tanks associated with the Britain education system. Chris Keates who is the general secretary of the teaching union NASUWT, expressed her disapproval towards this new policy saying the policy was disappointing. She also said that this policy fails to improve the existing education quality as the term 'academy' does not mean the school associated with the term offers excellent quality of education. She made his point on basis of statistics which clearly proved that existing academies were no better in their performances when compared to ordinary schools. Given the current economic scenario in Britain where tackling the budget deficit should be the frontline concern of the existing government, this policy offers a very costly solution to a problem that is not known to exist.
One of the current members of the Shadow Cabinet, Ed Balls points out towards the fact that this policy will end up creating a divide, on side there will be academies, which will have full independence and financial support from the government and the other side will have schools deemed as second graded, creating a two tier education system, which is completely against the motto behind the creation of Academies Programme. There also lingers another danger which has gone unnoticed. The academies, which no longer have to answer to the local governing bodies and with their financial might backed by the government itself, will suck all the talented teachers from other smaller schools, leaving them in further deteriorating conditions.

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