Monday, March 21, 2016

And Britain, Too

It is worth remembering that the privatization of public education, the hollowing out and dismantling and selling off the parts, the diversion of public dollars to private pockets-- we aren't the only country suffering through this movement.

Britain is also wrestling with similar issues. In particular, there's the matter of Multi-Academy Trusts, which appear to be like our Achievement School Districts, except with even less pretense of doing anything other than letting private corporations take charge of, if not the actual education, at least the money earmarked for it. In addition, the MAT process appears to completely wipe out the identity of the academies.

I could explain more, but instead I'd rather direct you to the work at the blog Disappointed Idealist, a British teacher who was just passed along to me (h/t to Fred Bartels) on the theory that I might find his style appealing. Good theory. Here's the DI explaining how the MAT process works on local identity:

A Multi-Academy Trust is not a club of independent schools working together for greater harmony, happy children skipping through daisies drinking coke, and the chance to teach the world to sing. This is a very common misconception. Some people will swear blind that their schools retain power and independence within their MAT. They’re wrong. They don’t actually even retain their own identity. No, a MAT is more of an acid bath of schools. The individual schools go in, but they don’t retain their identity once in there. The MAT your school will be forced to join IS the ONLY legal entity. Your school effectively ceases to exist.

So let me usher you along to this latest post, The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Schools. Or “Of Course It’s Bloody Privatisation” You may not recognize all the terminology or the names of the players, but in the hands of this very able writer, you will have no trouble recognizing and understanding the process he's discussing.


  1. Been following this for a while; I have a number of teacher friends in Britain, many of whom are spread thinly and others of whom have been pink-slipped in the Great Austerity Cuts while Osborne & the Tories (Conservative branch) passed yet another tax break for the well-off while also cutting disability payment by 30 pounds a week. :-( (Sound familiar?)

    Petitions have gone around and now The People have spoken.

  2. Not to get pedantic, but this is an issue of English education, not British. Education has been devolved to the individual countries in the UK, so Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England have separate systems. When my family spent a year in Scotland a couple years ago, my daughters attended the local primary school -- it was refreshingly solid and traditional in its governance and moderately progressive in pedagogy.

    1. Good point. My friends in Scotland LOVE their school system! :-)