The Coalition is wasting no time. Today all Heads received a letter from Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, that they can now, if they choose, look to become independent of the local authority.
As a school governor and Chairman-designate of a local school, this is music to both mine and the Head's ears. Last night, the Governing body met to discuss a new 10 year vision for the school. The three words are Community, All-Round-Excellence and Different. Our biggest aspiration is to be far more adventurous with the curriculum. We want our children to learn and pass exams, sure, but we don't want to be restricted to formats which actually hold many of our children back. We want our children to THINK, to interact and learn how to function. We want proper links to companies, to people in our communities. Schools have become cordoned-off. Even Councillors need 'safeguarding' training to be allowed near the place. In pursuit of safety, we have lost trust. We all aspire to a different future.
Key to this is throwing off the monkey of our local education authority. This is an expensive adjunct to our system that sucks away money while adding very little value that I can see. All that I as a Governor see are documents written by expensive people which we have to `pass' as a committee. Well, I am sorry, Eton doesn't work like that so why should my school? Myself and the head want to take the school into a new place, one free of local authortity nonsense. My own party is more enthusiastic about the role of LEAs. I do not share this view, unfortunately. I see a commissioning role and that's that. Ten people max, not the current - which runs into the hundreds.
Full Council tomorrow. With a shocking financial settlement it will be interesting to see how things are shaking out. Everyone is bought into `doing thing differently'. But nobody has a clue what that means. What I think it means is everyone working a lot harder, faster and with less of the usual faffing about. And all for less money, a smaller pension and less time allowed for sickness.
Welcome to the real world, comrades.