Farce of the day

January 24, 2009 at 8:02 pm | Posted in British Politics, Education | 1 Comment

File this one under ‘Colossal Mismanagement’:

One of Labour’s flagship academy schools – the first to be headed by someone without classroom experience – was branded a disaster yesterday, four months after it opened.

Inspectors paid an emergency visit to the Richard Rose Central academy, in Carlisle, where pupils were reported to be fighting in corridors and vandalising school buses.

The inspectors are expected to write a damning report, placing its future in doubt.

Teachers have threatened to strike over the school’s “weak” management and pupils are refusing to wear uniform today in protest at how the school is being run.

Now, the existence of one unmitigated disaster doesn’t necessarily prove that Blair’s famous education reforms are a complete failure – there are some which have been fairly successful. But it’s certainly a cautionary tale which proves that conscientious oversight is important. This next part has by far the most damning details:

The schools minister, Jim Knight, visited the academy yesterday, promising to do all he could to turn it around. This could include replacing its governors.

He admitted that the closure of two local schools – St Aidan’s and North Cumbria Technology college – to create the academy had “not gone well”.

Teachers’ leaders say civil servants were urged to delay the opening of the school because pupils at the two schools did not get on.

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: “These were totally different schools and these pupils were engaged in an underground war against each other. People had to work quite hard to keep the two sets of pupils apart.”

So in other words… they closed two schools whose pupils hated each other and grouped them in one shiny new super-academy under the leadership of someone with absolutely zero education experience.

You wouldn’t need a crystal ball to figure out what was going to happen next…

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