- 2007 Local Government Service Group Conference
- 16 June 2007
This Local Government Service Group supports a non-selective, comprehensive state school system, controlled by local communities. As such this LGSG opposes the Government’s Academy Programme which replaces democratically controlled local schools with privately run educational establishments, funded by a combination of central government, businesses and other private organisations. We have similar concerns over the creation of Foundation and Trust Schools. We believe that government policy will lead to increased marketisation and privatisation of education with the resultant competition between schools and an increased role for private, faith and charitable organisations in the running of schools and also in developing and implementing education policy.
Aside from the issue of control and accountability, this LGSG has other major concerns over fragmentation of schools in this way, including:
·Funding and value for money;
·Quality of education;
·Specialisation and curricula;
·High pupil exclusion rates;
·Impact on the local community;
·Staffing Policies, with particular concern about the development of a ‘two-tier’ workforce with regard to employment terms and conditions.
We note that this is part of a wider Government Education policy which includes the use of the private sector in the Building Schools for the Future programme and proposals for schools and LEAs to adopt Trust status and all of these combine to remove schools further from the control of elected councillors, staff, parents and communities
Conference is aware, however, there are significant differences in the role of the private sector and their level of involvement in education across the four different countries and administrations in the UK. Conference therefore calls on the SGE to ensure that any guidance or advice which is developed reflects these differences.”
This Conference therefore calls on the Service Group Executive to:
1Campaign along with other education unions against the marketisation of education and Academies, Foundation and Trust schools in particular;
2Issue guidance to branches on the key campaigning and bargaining issues – recognising the differences between the four countries;
3Campaign to ensure that the Best Value Code of Practices applies in full within education and Academies in particular.