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013. Complete Academies Briefing 2007 3es Sold to GEMS

013. Complete Academies Briefing 2007 3es Sold to GEMS

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Published by lifeinthemix
From what I have read 3es (sponsor schools in the UK) is part of Faber Maunsell, parent company Aecom, private military which subcontracts to the pentagon and involved in the 'rebuilding' of Iraq, and that another subsidiary of Aecom's, Cansult Maunsell, has been reported for fraud and corruption in Iraq. However, according to this document, 'In 2005 the 3E’s company was sold to Global Educational Management Systems (GEMS), run by Dubai businessman Sonny Varkey'. www.teachers.org.uk/.../word/CompleteAcademiesbriefing2007.doc
From what I have read 3es (sponsor schools in the UK) is part of Faber Maunsell, parent company Aecom, private military which subcontracts to the pentagon and involved in the 'rebuilding' of Iraq, and that another subsidiary of Aecom's, Cansult Maunsell, has been reported for fraud and corruption in Iraq. However, according to this document, 'In 2005 the 3E’s company was sold to Global Educational Management Systems (GEMS), run by Dubai businessman Sonny Varkey'. www.teachers.org.uk/.../word/CompleteAcademiesbriefing2007.doc

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Published by: lifeinthemix on Oct 29, 2009
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07/27/2012

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Academies
Background
The City Academies policy was announced by David Blunkett, the then Secretary of State for Education and Employment, in March2000 as “a radical approach to promote greater diversity and break the cycle of failing schools in inner cities”. Academies arepublicly funded independent schools, which according to the Government, are expected to have “innovative approaches tomanagement, governance, teaching and Learning.” The Government originally said that it intended Academies to replace schoolswhich are either in special measures or “underachieving”, or to meet a demand for places by creating new schools. In August 2006the Times Educational Supplement (TES) revealed that none of the Academies opened so far had replaced a school in specialmeasures despite Ministerial assurances that the initiative is designed to tackle educational failure. The TES research showed thatmany schools were performing well prior to becoming Academies, although they had suffered from a lack of investment. Ananalysis published by the Telegraph on 17 December 2006 showed that only six of 67 schools due to become Academies were inspecial measures. Four were CTCs and the majority of the remainder were improving, good or excellent. These findings confirm thetrend that existing Academies have replaced challenging but not failing schools.There are currently 46 Academies open. The first three opened in September 2002 with nine more opening in September 2003, fiveopening in September 2004 and ten in September 2005. Nineteen Academies opened in September 2006.The Prime Minister,Tony Blair, is keen to extend the initiative and doubled the target of Academies to 400 at his speech to the Specialist Schools anAcademies Trust Conference on 30 November 2006. If this were achieved, one in ten secondary schools would be independentAcademies run by sponsors.Creating Academies in place of community or foundation schools involves the transfer of publicly funded assets to anunaccountable sponsoring body. For a contribution of around 8 per cent (maximum £2m) of the cost of building a new, or refurbishing an old school building to form an Academy, the sponsors are given control of a modern independent school set up as acompany limited by guarantee. Sponsors receive the entire school budget directly from the Government. In July 2006 theGovernment announced measures to make it easier for private backers to sponsor Academies. Sponsorship – normally £2m will nolonger have to be pledged up front to help pay for new buildings, but instead can be paid over five years for “educational
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innovations”.
Union policy
The National Union of Teachers believes that Academies are an experiment with pupils’ education which have not been evaluated(PricewaterhouseCoopers have been commissioned by the DfES to evaluate the programme but this has not been completed.)Eight months before plans for the expansion of the Academies programme were announced, ministers were told of doubts aboutthe scheme's ability to introduce more innovative teaching. In a report commissioned by the Government, consultantsPricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) also said Academies could lead to a two-tier system based on social class and thwart theGovernment's policy of collaboration. Ministers, however, chose not to publish the 264-page document, the first of five plannedannual reports evaluating Academies.PricewaterhouseCoopers second evaluation report was published in June 2005. A number of the areas that PWC raise concernsabout have already been identified by the Union in its own monitoring of the Academies initiative. On the issue of teacher workloadthe report states, “Staff workload is generally heavier in Academies compared to the previous schools”. PWC also report that themix of new staff and TUPEd staff has created significant tensions in Academies.Further challenges identified by the report include: clarifying SEN admissions policy nationally; recognition that bullying is a problemin some Academies; and the impractical design of some Academy spaces. The report also pointed to the lack of staff and teacher representation on Academy governing bodies.The third Annual Report of the PWC evaluation of Academies was published at the end of July 2006. The scope of the PWC database is substantial, but as yet only contains hard data up to 2004. However, over time it will enable each Academy to be tracked interms of a whole range of indicators. The current report shows that Academies are a very disparate group of schools from whichfew rational conclusions can be drawn. In fact, quoting Academies’ averages on whatever factor – assessment results, pupilabsence, SEN percentages, free school meals, which is the tactic used by PWC and the Government - masks the huge variationsin the level of challenge Academies are facing and how much progress they are making.
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The report devotes a chapter to early indications of success factors, largely based on qualitative data from interviews andquestionnaires, quotations, case studies and “vignettes”. The factors identified relate to school improvement generally, rather thanany specific “Academy factor”.The “good news” that PWC can present in the report is very sparse. The conclusion would have to be that Academy status in itself is not the answer to addressing the needs of very challenging schools.The Education and Skills Select Committee has raised serious concerns about Academies. The Committee’s report on secondaryeducation, published in March 2005, said that the Government’s use of Academies to serve vulnerable communities should beproperly evaluated, both in respect of the performance of individual Academies and the impact on neighbouring schools, beforeembarking on a major expansion of an untested project.The Select Committee stated that the good results achieved by some Academies might have been gained as a result of excludingthose children who were harder to teach and reducing the proportion of children in the school from deprived backgrounds. TheSelect Committee requested that the DfES measure consistently the proportion of pupils entitled to free school meals and thenumber of exclusions in Academies. King’s Academy in Middlesbrough expelled 27 pupils in the first year, compared with 10 in totalby the seven maintained schools in the local authority. Another 10 were withdrawn by their parents after the threat of exclusion.West London Academy tripled exclusions to 265 in a year, with a further 20 permanent exclusions.Not all Academies offer pupil an independent appeal after being permanently excluded. There have been complaints from parentsabout Trinity Academy’s strict disciplinary code. They claim that it is aimed at getting rid of more difficult pupils who might damagethe schools examination results.The NUT is greatly concerned over the influence that sponsors have over a school. The private sponsors that run Academies havelimited or no experience in education. Academy sponsors include Christian philanthropist, Sir Peter Vardy, of Reg Vardy car dealership, Roger de Haan, Chief Executive of Saga Holidays, Amey plc, a construction and management firm and DavidSamworth, chairman of Samworth Brothers, a nationwide manufacturer of sausages, pies, pastries and ready meals.At the end of September 2005, the Secretary of State, Ruth Kelly, announced that teachers working in Academies would berequired to be registered and regulated by the General Teaching Council, as all other teachers working in state funded schools are.
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