By: Chris Knowles


I’ve just read an article in The Independent entitled  “Overwhelming number of school leaders ‘opposed to Government’s new academies policy’“. What this and most articles on this subject ignore is the incontrovertible though much denied fact that education is a political football.

The reason for the move to academies is purely political, just as setting up the old comprehensive system was political. The existing system was set up to empower Labour Party ideology. The new proposals are put forward to benefit Conservative Party ideology. Politicians always want to shape the minds of the next generation because doing so gives them the power to control the future agenda.

The Labour Party have effectively controlled education for decades and have dumbed it down by subjecting it to tis own unrigorous world view. This worldview is based on an idealism that often ignores and sometimes actively resists reality

Those who joined the teaching profession during that time obviously favour the existing system and they are highly resistant to change. However, the existing system has failed. Proof of this is that businesses claim that they need to import skilled staff from oversees. They claim British people lack the skills! If true this is a clear indication that the education system is currently not fit for purpose and must be changed.

People may complain that the education system should not be a political football. The reality of the situation is that it is! The status quo will complain about supposed politicisation despite the fact that their own positions are themselves the direct result of politics. This point is something they never acknowledge.

The main problem with politics is that it’s practitioners believe that if something is initially a good thing then ‘more of the same’ is better. This is not true, more of the same makes a system extreme and imbalanced. This has happened with the Labour Party model for education and has left us with a system that is not fit for purpose.

Radical change is now required to restore the balance. Unfortunately while the current proposals are necessary to bring an end to Labour’s tight grip, the Conservatives will ultimately, after many years of making it better, take it too far in the opposite direction. Perhaps knowledge of this problem combined with wise decision makers may ensure we ultimately have a balanced system – but don’t hold your breath!