“It is beyond parody that riding to the rescue of the free schools project should be the New Schools Network (NSN), a charity very largely dependent on DfE funding and which has been led since its creation by a succession of former Government staff and Conservative cronies. They need look no further than their Christmas card list for the causes of the problems they seek to solve.
“The fact that so many schools are ‘awaiting’ a sponsor and are effectively in limbo is a searing indictment of the dysfunctional academies and free schools policies which the NSN promotes. The ridiculous dogma that academisation is the answer needs to be abandoned. There is no evidence that academy sponsorship improves pupil outcomes and forced academisation is both disruptive and anti-democratic.
“We need a supportive and cooperative framework for school improvement, involving the local authority and neighbouring schools in full consultation with parents and staff. Parachuting in NSN approved groups to take over schools would be a recipe for disaster.”
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