So a flawed planning scheme in North Horsham is to be joined by a proposal from a local Academy School provider representing the Government’s over hyped and often failing Academy programme.
As the article (WSCT 8/8) acknowledges, many Academies are in special measures and their performance at key Stages in critical subjects, fails to meet those achieved by local authority schools.
Horsham and district is very fortunate in having a range of high performing primary and secondary schools, all bar one overseen by WSCC Education Department. Plans by the then headmistress of Millais to have it opt out of local authority oversight in favour of Whitehall, were fiercely resisted by parents. Millais and our other local comprehensives along with Collyer’s have gone on to be beacons of excellence in educational provision and attainment and accountable locally, despite years of underfunding by WSCC.
Horsham does not need further “private” school provision, there are already plenty of those for parents if that is their wish for their children.
What Horsham needs is to build on its established schools and ensure they and any additional provision, is properly funded but stays locally accountable. Not fragmented by an unproven Academy programme controlled by Whitehall, motivated by profit and accountable to shareholders.
• Editor’s note: The Aurora Academies Trust has proposed a new free school for North Horsham.
Academies are either ‘sponsored’, which usually means they were previously underperforming schools that have been compelled to become academies; or they are ‘converters’, which means they are previously outstanding or good maintained schools that have voluntarily become academies.
Free schools are academies in law, and have the same range of freedoms, but rather than being the product of a conversion or takeover of a maintained school, they are completely new schools.
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