Teaching on the cheap?

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REGARDING the report headed ‘Residents back calls for new village school’ (County Times June 30), I think there is all the difference in the world between residents wanting a new village school and Southwater Parish Council chairman Tony Bull’s assertion that an academy is the answer.

There is in fact no evidence that academies perform better than maintained schools. Some early academies made use of increased funding and when that is taken into account there is no appreciable difference between academies and maintained schools.

Chillingly he argues that ‘normal staff salary scales do not apply’.

Do residents want teaching on the cheap? And what about the solemn and binding promises made by academies that school teachers’ pay and conditions will not suffer? Are they just hot air?

And as for the idea that the governing bodies of maintained schools are not ‘constantly monitoring performance’, that is just an insult any school governor would refute.

The idea that people with business experience are the only ones interested in the education of our children is frankly bull. If they are concerned in running the schools, who is taking care of business? Does anyone really prefer Lord Sugar’s approach to that of a caring professional?

DEREK MCMILLAN

West Sussex National Union of Teachers

College Road, Ardingly