Francis Beckett

It seems clear that Education Secretary Michael Gove has beaten the Liberal Democrats hands down.  Whatever else the Tories don't get, they are on course to get a massive expansion of privatised schools. 

Those of us who think we ought to elect the people who run our schools should be signing up straight away to Fiona Millar's campaign for accountable schools.

Fiona notices that the Lib Dems say they have extracted from Gove an assurance that schools will be "properly accountable."  But this phrase isn't defined. So Fiona defines it:  "‘Properly accountable’ schools would be obliged to have governing body arrangements that represent parents, teachers, a cross section of the wider local community and also leave room for outside bodies who might contribute to school improvement."

I doubt if that's what Gove has in mind.  As Fiona writes, with privatised schools, "Their governing bodies are controlled by the sponsoring body, often based miles away from where the school is situated. In the Conservative ‘free schools’ model, private sector companies based in other parts of the world are being groomed to take over English schools. Do parents really want to take their placards and banners to Dubai and Stockholm?"