Lazy to criticise council boss
It is indeed concerning that Peterborough’s primary schools are bottom of the national SATs tables.
Lessons must be learned and swiftly.
However, once again some people have been quick to point the finger of blame at the city council in general and John Holdich in particular.
But hang on a minute. The national drive over the past few years has been to convert and even force under performing schools to become academies, thus taking them out of so-called local authority control.
Critics seem to have conveniently forgotten this fact.
In the effort to ‘raise standards’ schools have been ‘academised’.
Local accountability has largely disappeared, school leaderships changed and governing bodies( filled with local people) dismantled.
Most academies are run by academy chains whose headquarters are nowhere near Peterborough and whose chief executives are paid far in excess of anything earned by local council officers.
A few of these academies have employment practices that would make some PT message-boarders’ computer keyboards burst into flames in indignant outrage.
When I was employed by the council, albeit five years ago, I had the privilege of visiting and working with every primary school in Peterbor- ough.
These schools are overwhelmingly in superb buildings and are populated with hard working staff and delightful children.
You will not convince me that these schools are the worst in the country.
Of course something must have gone wrong for the SATs results to beso poor and steps must be taken to rectify the situation.
But if critics do want to condemn and hold people to account, interrogate the government, its representatives, its dogmatic policies, the Regional Schools Commissioner and the hierarchy of the academy chains, not just local authorities.
Regarding the situation Stewart Jackson MP tweeted: “the results are appalling & unacceptable & unsustainable. We need new thinking & a fresh approach.”
I thought that the academies programme was supposed to be that‘ new thinking and fresh approach’.
The reasons behind the poor results are complex and multifaceted.
Criticising John Holdich and the councilis just too easy and lazy. Toby Wood Newark Avenue Peterborough