Arab Today, arab today michael gove academy school critics \happy with failure\
Last Updated : GMT 04:43:53
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Michael Gove: Academy school critics \'happy with failure\'

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Michael Gove: Academy school critics \'happy with failure\'

London - Arabstoday

Education Secretary Michael Gove is to accuse those who oppose his academies programme of being \"happy with failure\". Mr Gove is pushing more schools to become academies, which are state-funded but semi-independent and outside local authority control. In a speech in London, he will say those who oppose it are \"enemies of promise\". Head teachers say academy conversion does not raise standards in itself. Up to 200 schools are being told they have to make the change because they are not meeting government standards. In a speech at an academy in London, Mr Gove is expected to say while most local authorities are \"being co-operative\" about their schools making this change, some are \"being obstructive\". He will accuse them of putting the ideology of central control over the interests of children. Under the academy programme, the influence of local authorities over schools is reduced. Critics - such as Labour opponents and the teaching unions - say this will lead to a fragmented system with little local accountability. Mr Gove is expected to say: \"The same ideologues who are happy with failure - the enemies of promise - also say you can\'t get the same results in the inner cities as the leafy suburbs so it\'s wrong to stigmatise these schools. \"Let\'s be clear what these people mean. Let\'s hold their prejudices up to the light. What are they saying? \"If you\'re poor, if you\'re Turkish, if you\'re Somali, then we don\'t expect you to succeed. You will always be second class and it\'s no surprise your schools are second class. \"I utterly reject that attitude.\" Forced conversions\' There has recently been an outcry in the London borough of Haringey over moves to make some schools become academies. Downhills Primary in Tottenham, north London, faces being made an academy by 2013, but the head and some parents are campaigning for it to remain a community school, more closely linked with the local authority. Ofsted gave the school 12 months to improve its performance earlier this year. The campaigners claim there is no evidence to suggest that academy status can transform primary schools, although the government says there is. The government has said it wants England\'s 200 worst-performing schools to become sponsored academies next year, meaning that they will have a sponsor - usually a top-performing academy school or a group already running other academies. Brian Lightman, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: \"The act of academy conversion does not in itself raise standards.\" Figures just released show there are now 1,529 academies open in England, compared with 200 when the coalition came to power in May 2010. Under Labour, the programme was mainly aimed at turning around struggling schools but the coalition wants it to be for all schools and says it will drive up standards overall. Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: \"The assertion that the opponents of the government\'s forced academy programme are \'happy with failure\' is an insult to all the hard-working and dedicated teachers, school leaders, support staff and governors in our schools. \"If academy status brought the benefits claimed by the government why have so few of England\'s schools opted to convert? \"The forced academy programme is about bullying schools into academy status against the wishes of school communities and their local authorities who are best placed to judge what support any particular school may need, not an external sponsor with an eye to the future profits to be made out of the Government\'s programme of privatising England\'s schools.\"

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