This comment made by the Minister of State at the Department for Education, Nick Gibb reveals why Gibb and his boss, Nicky Morgan are determined to force all Schools to become academies. The comment was made over the weekend, the two abbreviations are LA – Local Authorities and MAT – Multi Academy Trusts. This comment makes it clear that only some upper tier local authorities are seen by the Government to be fit to manage Schools. It is far from clear what a ‘good approach’ means. Will it depend on the views of OFSTED or is there to be some other test that will satisfy Gibb and Morgan? The second element behind this quote is however much more revealing. As far as Nick and Nicky are concerned, it seems as though they believe that local authority governance structures are not fit for purpose in terms of running schools. Even where a local authority is doing a good job, the only way for them to retain management of their Schools is for them to create a non-democratic structure that does not include the involvement of parents and local people in its governance.
One question that emerges as a result of this statement is where the structural failure of local authorities ends? If Local Government is not capable of running Schools, what about other services? What is it that makes local authority structures unfit for purpose? Is it the democratic selection of Councillors? After all that is similar to the democratic selection of MPs like Gibb and Morgan! Is it the democratic decision making of Councillors? After all that is similar to the democratic decision making of Parliament! It is vital that Gibb, Morgan and their colleagues come clean with us all so we can make our own judgement!