Don’t Look Too Closely


We have this alarming report from the BBC:

Academies could ‘fuel social segregation’

The rising number of schools in England with academy status could fuel rather than improve social segregation, says a report by the Academies Commission.

The report says some academies may “covertly” select pupils by using extra information on families or holding social events with prospective parents.


I heard an interview on the radio about this and what was immediately clear  was that it was unclear just where the evidence came from to support the claims…..the person from the Academies Commission (so called…it is entirely unconnected with government….and is a private initiative) was very coy….only saying some parents and schools had complained.

Well we know the reaction of the NUT and other teacher unions to academies….and who were the parents?  You may think hardly a disinterested bunch in undermining academies and Michael Gove.


And just what is the ‘Pearson Think Tank‘ which set up the Academies Commission as the BBC tells us, but without revealing any more…..

The Academies Commission was set up by the Pearson Think Tank and the RSA charity to examine the implications of the “mass academisation” of state schools.


Having read the below you might have thought the BBC, well  known for its determined efforts not to allow a right wing think tank or ‘pressure group’ to go unlabelled as such in the interests of balance, would have something to say about what turns out to be an enormous corporation that has its fingers in many educational pies….and may have an interest in stirring up discontent about school standards…so that it can then provide the ‘solution’….all at a reasonable cost of course…….

I guess the BBC are happy to look the other way when one of the Coalition’s flag ship, and most successful policies, is under attack….or perhaps it doesn’t want to attack a company that it works closely with in its BBC Active capacity….

Pearson’s core education publishing business includes, in this country, the brands of Heinemann, Longman, BBC Active and the Edexcel publishing label.


The Guardian reveals many doubts about Pearson:

Stephen Ball, professor of the sociology of education at London University’s Institute of Education and an expert on education business, sees Pearson’s school-improvement model, alongside its policy work, as particularly interesting. He says: “I think it’s related to an overall strategy: they want to offer products and services in all areas of school practice: assessment, pedagogy, curriculum and management, and they want to create the possibility for that through policy work.

“They want to have indirect influence in policy to create opportunities for business expansion. It’s a very well thought-out business strategy. I think we should be thinking about it, because a lot of it is going unnoticed.


Or maybe noticed but ignored at least whilst it attacks Coalition policies.

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9 Responses to Don’t Look Too Closely

  1. DJ says:

    And then there’s the flip side of all that: should anyone turn that round and accuse non-academy schools of sacrificing educational standards to social engineering, then the BBC would cover it like someone had suggested that the moon landings were faked.

    That’s the thing here: academies are being accused of not doing what the BBC has always denied schools do anyway.


  2. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Didn’t the BBC try this one out already? I’m thinking of the moaning about academies creating a “two-tiered” education system, which amounts to the same thing they’re whining about here.


  3. john in cheshire says:

    The socialists are just regurgitating their antipathy towards Grammar Schools but this time it is the Academies. I just hope sufficient people are aware of this socialist hatred of excellence and identify the loudmouth spokesmen and particularly spokeswomen for what they are and what they stand for. In a normal world, they wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near to a tv news studio. But then the bbc doesn’t inhabit a normal world; it’s some kind of parallel fantasy socialist utopia where everyone is equally gifted, an atheist or a muslim and no one hates anyone except for the non-muslims and non-socialists.


  4. johnnythefish says:

    Schools exist for 2 reasons:

    a) To provide well-remunerated, final salary pension public sector jobs for life which should never be brought up to 20th century private sector standards of rigorous annual review and performance related pay.

    b) To indoctrinate the children of the UK with a socialist mindset.

    Academies and free schools are the greatest threat to this raison d’ etre and will be destroyed by the next Labour government at the bidding of their union paymasters.


  5. Wild says:

    Since they have lost every ideological argument all the Left have is their desire to defend their own jobs in the public sector.

    The “private sector” is always viewed by the BBC as an odd and probably evil arrangement, whereas in reality the “private sector” is just another name for the normal economy. It is the “public sector” which is the recent and odd phenomenon.

    The idea that politicians should run health and education and regulate every detail of our lives via the welfare State is not only totalitarian and inefficient, it is run by people to serve their own interests rather than the interests of the customer.

    Yes the State had armies, and the church tried to regulate beliefs, but the idea that politicians (particularly professional politicians that get power by promising jam today by taking it from others – they generate no income of their own everything they have is stolen) is a phenomena which the BBC never examines.

    You are more likely to see a programme about the absurdity of God on the BBC than on the absurdity of a society runs by professional politicians like Gordon Brown or John Prescott.

    The day the BBC starts to question the value of middle class Guardian reading public sector workers is the day the BBC ceases to be the BBC.

    The entire justification of the BBC for Guardian readers is it justifies the power of the State in short it justifies their own jobs.


  6. Richard Pinder says:

    Both my granddads went to Grammar Schools, one ended up in management, the other turned down a senior management post that would have made him famous. Both their fathers where working class labourers on the railway and on the farm. The Labour party turned against the Grammar Schools because they where so good that posh people where saving money by sending their kids to state Grammar Schools. Keeping state schools in poor standards is in the interests of Labour. The kids grow up feeling down trodden, so they vote Labour.


    • Albaman says:

      “Keeping state schools in poor standards is in the interests of Labour. The kids grow up feeling down trodden, so they vote Labour.”…………………………… Why then is it not Conservative Party policy to go back to a tripartite education system and build new grammar schools? Why did the Thatcher and Major governments not look to change the system? If all these “kids” who have gone through the comprehensive education system “vote labour” why do we currently have a coalition government?