Concerns over new academies

HAVING noticed the recent trend for academies, I am particularly interested to know how they differ from schools when it comes to student and parental complaints – instead of local councils, will the Department of Education investigate issues?

It is all very easy to state children’s best interests will be at heart, but it’s a very different thing to act on it.

My concern is that bullying issues could be potentially covered if a school is operated like an army barracks or a factory.

I am certainly not saying bullying incidents are not poorly dealt with in schools under a local authority, but I feel there is the risk of a sponsor enforcing its viewpoints to maintain its reputation.

Here a headteacher, it seems, could be acting as a puppet, particularly if they are career oriented.

I was bullied at school, asked for help and then became a target.

The bullying did not stop but got worse, including a meeting with a ‘counsellor’ who tried to tell me verbal abuse was not a form of bullying.

Schools and teachers are concerned with results which reflect on them, so I personally fear for our local schools becoming academies.

All it takes is the wrong sponsor, the wrong management, the wrong governors or the wrong parent/teacher relationships.