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No Such Thing as a Free School Lunch - Packed Lunches and Perry Beeches

News this month has been dominated by the recent government white paper outlining plans for the academisation of British schools, with increased press scrutiny on both the management and the nature of academies and academy trusts.

In keeping with the NUT’s opposition to academisation plans, teachers and teaching unions are undertaking a public campaign against the move, with two petitions against it already reaching over 100,000 signatures and multiple marches and rallies planned across the country.

Coming at a poor time for the government, the Perry Beeches academy trust is to be stripped of its five schools after an investigation into its finances showed poor management and dubious subcontracting practices that saw the chief executive Liam Nolan paying himself a second salary.

Nicky Morgan recently made a post on Mumsnet defending the decision to academise schools, attracting considerable ire from the commenters there, many of whom were displeased with both the tone and content of her statement.

In the Guardian this week a headteacher writes about the problems faced by students with special needs in the academy system, where students with learning difficulties are often discouraged from attending for the sake of league table rankings, while the TES predicts increasing difficulty for SEN students in the absence of local authority support.

And lastly, recent funding cuts, coupled with increased autonomy in the way that schools raise money, has seen a number schools start charging children for the “privilege” of eating a packed lunch, with some schools charging as much as £1.80.

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