Education Secretary Michael Gove has met fierce opposition to his attempt to force state schools to convert to “independent” academies. At four primaries in Haringey, north London, parents and staff are fighting the move.
At Downhills Primary the opposition has been particularly fierce, with governors refusing to connive with the move, and parents united against Gove. Now an Ofsted inspection has deemed the school as “failing”. Under intense pressure, a widely respected headteacher has resigned. The entire governing body has now been replaced by a group of government appointees.
Gove wants all state schools to convert to academies, with their budgets removed from local authority school funds and handed over by government to spend as they wish, setting them apart from the local community of schools. By 1 January just 360 out of 17,000 schools had switched voluntarily – hence the use of force. ■