Lazy to crit­i­cise coun­cil boss

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your Views -

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

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