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MumsnetGuestPosts (MNHQ) Fri 18-Mar-16 17:09:13

Guest post: Nicky Morgan - "Why academisation is best for our schools"

While deputy head Tim Paramour argues that turning all schools into academies is a gamble with our children's futures, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan says the change will allow every student to fulfil their potential

Nicky Morgan

Education Secretary

Posted on: Fri 18-Mar-16 17:09:13


Lead photo

"I am a firm believer that an exceptional education transforms children's futures."

As parents, we all want the best for our children. We want to make sure they have access to the best opportunities and to help them grow up into well-rounded adults. Making sure that our children have a high quality education is a key part of that.

I want to outline exactly what academisation means and why I truly believe this is the best way forward for our schools. Our children only have one shot at receiving the best education and I am committed to ensuring this happens as swiftly as possible.

We need to put our trust into the hands of the people that know best how to run our schools - the teachers - and the academy system does just that. This video tells you more about what an academy is. It gives schools greater autonomy to make the decisions that are right for their community and pupils. After all, we have the finest generation of teachers ever and being part of an academy helps put the power back in their hands.

The most recent results show that the percentage of pupils achieving the expected level in reading, writing and maths at the end of Key Stage 2 in primary academies has risen by 4%, from 67% in 2014 to 71% in 2015. Additionally, when it comes to secondary, it's a similar story with converter academies which are performing 7.2% above the national average, with 64.3% of pupils achieving five good GCSEs.

I am committed to making it easier for you as a parent to play an even more active role in your child's education. I want to put young people and parents first – something that might sound obvious, but the truth is that for too long parents have been an afterthought in our education system.

However, a dynamic school system where all schools are academies is just one part of a much wider plan to improve our education system which I set out yesterday in our white paper.

It is every parent's right to know their child is in an excellent school no matter where in the country they live. I am confident that this move will guarantee a higher school standard with each academy held to account for the performance of their pupils.

Ultimately, I am committed to making it easier for you as a parent to play an even more active role in your child's education. In essence, I want to put young people and parents first – something that might sound obvious, but the truth is that for too long parents have been an afterthought in our education system. We want you as parents to have a much stronger voice in what happens to your child during their school years, because we know that you want the very best for your child.

So how are we doing that? Firstly, I am well aware that the education system can appear complex to many parents. I am dedicated to changing this once and for all, and putting the control firmly back in your hands. As a result of this, I plan to introduce a new, online Parents Portal from as early as next year. This portal will enable parents' access to key information and allow you to support your child's learning.

Alongside this, we have changed the curriculum and the way that students will be assessed. This will help to raise standards and make sure that your child leaves school with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. It is imperative that every child fulfils their potential, and this includes stretching the most able pupils.

More young people will also study the EBacc - a combination of maths, English, two sciences, a humanity and a language - up to the age of 16. And the exams and qualifications young people are awarded will set a new international gold standard that is respected by employers, helping them to succeed in our increasingly global world.

I am a firm believer that an exceptional education transforms children's futures and everything outlined in this White Paper is committed to ensuring that parents and pupils come first. Our goal must always be to ensure every single child leaves school with the best education and the opportunity to excel in adult life. I believe that together, we can achieve that goal.

By Nicky Morgan

Twitter: @NickyMorgan01

biddy53 Mon 21-Mar-16 23:24:23

I think we should all have some sympathy for NM right now. Let's admit that she would have passed out on live tv. Give her a break

I think her performance on Newsnight proves she has no concerns about talking uninformed bollocks.

Valentine2 Mon 21-Mar-16 23:32:10

I am not sure why Tories keep fielding her though?

curluponthesofa Mon 21-Mar-16 23:36:17

Article about it on The Independent website. There is a little poll you can click on Yes or No.

But apart from online articles, the press seem to be ignoring it... Hopefully the march will stir up some coverage.

noblegiraffe Mon 21-Mar-16 23:38:02

Gove, at least, would have owned this and called us all enemies of promise or the blob or something. Not avoided the issue and talked about other stuff.

MsDinosaur Mon 21-Mar-16 23:42:02

Why on earth didn't newsnight discuss academies?!

BridgetChapman Mon 21-Mar-16 23:48:08

Thank you very much smile

antiqueroadhoe Tue 22-Mar-16 06:24:59

Forcing people into homeschooling their kids in order to avoid all the utter shit is surely part of their plan.

Think of the savings!

antiqueroadhoe Tue 22-Mar-16 06:28:01

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Eelus Tue 22-Mar-16 06:33:25

Sorry, can't link properly on my phone, but the Guardian have picked up on this thread.
I genuinely can't believe there is not more media coverage about this.

Eelus Tue 22-Mar-16 06:34:43

Oh, I can link properly!

Devilishpyjamas Tue 22-Mar-16 06:39:20

Dadsnet - are you happy with Nicky's dodgy use of statistics (again) then? Maybe you can explain how her but about converter academies isn't utterly deceitful?

JWIM Tue 22-Mar-16 06:43:49

Is there any independent organisation in the Education Field akin to the Institute of Fiscal studies that could produce a review of the White Paper. The IFS reviews the Budget 'Red Book' and identifies the inaccuracies/wrinkles etc. It was their graphic that Newsnight used to challenge NM on the welfare cuts and effect on the poorest 10% in society.

A similar review on the White Paper would dig in to the statements, what little data there is, the real cost etc.

I am hoping that once the hoohaa over the Budget dies down media focus will move to the White Paper.

Eelus Tue 22-Mar-16 06:51:31

This is the DFEs response to this thread in the Guardian.

“Every parent deserves to know their child is getting an excellent education, and they rightly want information about what these changes mean for them. We are determined to make sure every child has access to the best opportunities and to help them grow into well-rounded adults.

“Too many children are not getting the education they deserve and for too long parents have been an afterthought in our education system. Pupils are already benefiting hugely from the academies programme and thanks to our reforms more of them than ever before are going to good or outstanding schools.”

Thanks for responding DFE.
You are right DFE, as a parent I do want the information about what these changes mean for me. So please now give us that information with genuine statistics that back up what you are saying.

antiqueroadhoe Tue 22-Mar-16 06:58:05

The only people who benefit are the executive heads on monumental salaries; the spin doctors and the government saving money. Everyone else loses out.

Feenie Tue 22-Mar-16 07:04:34

Actually, it's news before it's happened:

HazyMazy Tue 22-Mar-16 07:10:40

I am not sure why Tories keep fielding her though?

AS they don't care if they lose her.

Remember the bedroom tax?
She lost her seat - surprise, surprise!

WhittonMum1 Tue 22-Mar-16 07:24:25

I think giving parents a voice in a Parent Portal could backfire.

I imagine the parents of children at the local failing academy could have a lot to say on such a Parent Portal. I doubt the Secretary of State will listen or respond to those Parent Portals.

They could be 'given a voice' and direct comments to the govenors, head, teachers, other pupils or even other parents at that school which isn't going to help the situation much.

It is definitely worth a think of how that will be managed.

CrowyMcCrowFace Tue 22-Mar-16 08:12:46

enters wearing false moustache, glasses & namechange after entire chuffing FB friend list spotted me on the Grauniad.

IME Parent Portals are very much ignored - I'm embarrassed to say I've got two log ins at my school, as a teacher & as a parent, yet I never think to log out as teacher & in again as a parent! The only parents who ever seem to use it are the ones who then gloatingly complain if an English teacher makes a typo...

Certainly not a substitute for parent voice via the governors. In fact, I've no idea how you could use it for parents to be heard - every VLE I know has all chat/discussion functions firmly turned off to avoid bunfights (& the school subsequently being in the Daily Mail).

BlueEyeshadow Tue 22-Mar-16 08:16:09

One of the problems encountered by many LA's in the past has been a lack of people experienced and able be appointed onto an Interim Executive Board. A lot of schools I know would have benefited from an IEB but the LA were unable to use their powers because they just didn't have the people to do the (unpaid) job.

The fact that you say it's happened to many schools suggests that the position has changed and that they are being used by LA's to resolve the problem of underperforming LA schools in their area.*

In the situation I know most about, the IEB chair was paid an incredible sum in expenses, and he chaired quite a few of the others too.

The IEB severely hampered the running of the school, and in at least one instance gave such bad advice that it caused the school serious difficulties later on.

A lot of the school's problems were made worse by the LA, but becoming an academy hasn't magicked them away. The school was actually doing a great job in very challenging circumstances, and had its own plan for improvement approved by all the relevant authorities, but that wasn't becoming an academy, so the DfE stepped in, regardless of local issues.

And they say they want to empower schools and free them from bureaucracy. It makes me sick.

BlueEyeshadow Tue 22-Mar-16 08:19:29

Bold fail in the post above. First two paras are what Pretty said. Rest is my response.

noblegiraffe Tue 22-Mar-16 08:32:38

There's no indication of what info a parent portal would provide beyond what is already given. The DfE website has extensive breakdowns of exam results, staffing, FSM, EAL, SEN etc per school on its website. Then you've got Ofsted reports. What exactly do parents need to know?

Hilsofthenorthwales Tue 22-Mar-16 08:32:53

The skill base from which tinkerers in education work if solid.

They used to go to school.

Can't comment on what type of school.

CrowyMcCrowFace Tue 22-Mar-16 08:45:39

I dunno noble - I got the impression it was supposed to have something to do with giving parents a 'stronger voice', but looking again it's just about giving them info (as you say - already in the public domain), & helping them to support their children's learning - so, erm, a VLE.

I have no idea what Nicky is talking about, but that's OK; neither does she, evidently.

CrowyMcCrowFace Tue 22-Mar-16 08:47:30

This just came up on FB - apologies if already posted...

forkhandles4candles Tue 22-Mar-16 09:09:28

This must not be allowed to disappear between IDS and terror attacks and general press ignoring.

rollonthesummer Tue 22-Mar-16 09:17:18

Why is there not more in the papers about this?!

TwoLeftSocks Tue 22-Mar-16 09:20:26

I think you're right forkhandles. It'll at least have to be considered for debate though so I think it'll be even more immigrant to write to MPs to make sure it gets a proper discussion.

biddy53 Tue 22-Mar-16 09:27:33

This must not be allowed to disappear between IDS and terror attacks and general press ignoring.

I think the plan is to bury it under IDS's resignation - the fact that NM has ignored this thread so far suggests she does not want to fan the flames by engaging with the public. I had hoped that her silence meant that she was busy composing her resignation letter but after her Newsnight appearance it is clear that she won't let the facts get in the way of her career. I am shocked that Evan Davis failed to ask one question about "academisation".

Letseatgrandma Tue 22-Mar-16 09:33:47

I am shocked that Evan Davis failed to ask one question about "academisation"

Me too. This can't just be buried. Once it's approved, it'll be too late.

I wrote to my MP about this at some length last night; I was so angry.

curluponthesofa Tue 22-Mar-16 09:40:43

Re the 'parent portal' - I seriously doubt Academies will really let parents use it as a forum for discussion. One of our local Academies is notorious for shutting down any negative debates on forums - the posts just disappear! (Including off mumsnet, so I won't mention the name of the school). It's become a bit of a joke. I presume the Academy PR office comes down heavy on the forum to remove it.

So my question is, what will a Parent Portal give on top of what we already have from the school /Ofsted/LA/DfE websites?

Fedup21 Tue 22-Mar-16 09:46:38

I doubt a parent portal will give parents anything! It certainly won't be used for open discussion. It'll probably just give some Tory friends jobs in setting it up.

The academies bill isn't even first on the Education section of the BBC news app! It's a story about sexting!

Fedup21 Tue 22-Mar-16 09:52:46

It's not under the UK, Top Stories or Children sections either shock

curluponthesofa Tue 22-Mar-16 10:51:04

I have looked through the White Paper and cannot see any information about how much this whole process will cost. Why isn't anyone doing any analysis of the cost of Academy conversion and whether this money would be better spent improving the current system? There had been lots of analysis of the welfare reform and budget impact but nothing on this!

Also how much will the new 'parent portal' cost? The government does not have a good track record of IT projects being delivered on time and in budget .... At a time when we are being told the country needs to make cuts we need to be told the cost of this new 'portal'.

School applications - it says they are 'consulting' on how best to run the application process. Very woolly. This is something pretty crucial!

My opinion is that because Gideon is coming under such pressure on the disability benefit cuts they are trying to hide the Academies issue to avoid any more negative publicity. I often wonder if we have a free press in this country any more.

rollonthesummer Tue 22-Mar-16 10:57:16

I don't think we do have a free press, no.

I have a horrible feeling this academies white paper will be missed in between all the IDS stuff (if I was cynical--I'd say that's why he give the press something dramatic to talk about whilst they swished this through undetected!).

noblegiraffe Tue 22-Mar-16 11:06:38

Nearly half of teachers in England plan to leave within the next 5 years.

Good thing that academies don't have to hire qualified teachers, eh?

Fedup21 Tue 22-Mar-16 11:16:46

I rather suspect why this academy bill is being passed through so hurriedly. Nicky would have had to admit to the recruitment and retention crisis sooner or later otherwise. This way, she doesn't have to as they won't NEED qualified teachers. She can bang on about QTS being an unnecessary barrier that gets in the way of simply brilliant potential teachers who for some unimaginable reason couldn't be arsed to train, and will fill up the staff rooms with anyone willing to work 12 hour days for about £12k. The pay and conditions will be gone in a flash and so will the holidays, I would imagine. A working parents' dream? 52 weeks of free childcare?

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Mar-16 11:56:57

Hello all

Quick follow up on Michael Gove's disappearing webchat posts - thanks very much for pointing this out.

We've done some investigating and it seems likely to be a tech glitch. The same thing has happened to a lesser degree to several other webchats from around the same time - for example Douglas Alexander, Yvette Cooper and Caroline Lucas.

Luckily all these webchats were written up into easy-to-read pages, so haven't gone pouf altogether - Michael Gove's is here, for example. And in fact it's possible that this process had something to do with the posts disappearing (via editor error!).

We're going to be restoring all the missing posts from the other webchats later today - thanks again for alerting us.

Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 11:59:06

Morning everyone

MNHQ (no point trying to get JUSTINE to respond, eh?🙄 You were surprised at the response I read but honestly we earn a few word from you as this really is a atonal emergency, don't you think? )

So was there a reminder sent to her this morning? While the iron is red? And if no response by tonight, ARE YOU READY TO STAMP "DISGRACE" ACROSS THIS POST OR JUST WANT US ALL TO GET BORED AND MOVE ON (to some other country perhaps now and of course away from Mumsnet too)?


She actually managed to moan that Evan should have showed her the godfosaken graph before she came on live tv!!! The cheek!
Is there a way to drag these people (Nicky Morgan and Co) to court? I want to learn more about this please if someone around here has some knowledge about this?

Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 12:00:51

"National emergency " is what I wanted to write to JUSTINE in the last post

LaBelleDameSansPatience Tue 22-Mar-16 12:06:51

Petition signed.

Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 12:08:43


Yes it looks like it . The way they are basically trying to insert IDS into every thing. There is apparently far more money involved in the academies scam than the disability cuts over which he has purportedly resigned (under no circumstances I can imagine to minimise the devastating news effects of those cuts though, just trying not to compare the money involved).

It's urgent matter now MNHQ. Pls push her.

chiaralev Tue 22-Mar-16 12:32:25

This is nothing to do with quality of education: independent sources such as the Sutton Trust and even the Chief of Osfted have highlighted the Academy chains’ mixed results. It all boils down to money and to this government’s purely ideological position that unchained liberalism is better than an efficient and fair state providing for the most vulnerable, a category that in my view includes also children.

I’m worried about a huge chunk of tax payers’ money being handed over to academies who are not accountable to us taxpayers but to a very few civil servants overseeing thousands of schools (I suppose we can't call these bureaucrats). I’m worried about not being able to be part of my children’s school’s decisions. I worry about 125 year leases to academies, valuable public property being handed over to unaccountable bodies. I’m sad about the disappearance of the support network local schools and Local authorities have created to share knowledge and best practice. Most of all I worry about the tendency of academies to drop children with problems to boost their results.

If the Government thinks the interference of bureaucrats in education is too much , why not starting by reducing the ridiculous requirements and directives for state schools in terms of curriculum, testing and marking? Oh, and I forgot the latest about exclamation marks!

It’s always struck me as paradoxical that the Government is micromanaging state schools, but then it leaves "freedom" to free schools, independent schools and academies. Are children from non-maintained schools second class citizens who don’t merit the Government’s obsessive attention? Or perhaps are these schools deemed inherently better because free from the shackle of the government’s own directives? If so, why does the Government not act consistently and backs off by giving state schools freedom and means to focus on the topical issues such as attracting and retaining good teachers, paying them properly, allowing them to enjoy their job?

It shouldn't be so difficult, unless the real reason for this catastrophic change is , as we all suspect, to slash local government’s funding and hand over the future of this country to the market’s forces.
Enough with the narrative that it’s the LA’s fault. Enough treating us as if we were idiots incapable of reading the Government’s subtext and deciphering all their lies. The Government makes the laws and sets the budget.

AllTheOtherUserNamesAreTaken Tue 22-Mar-16 12:54:29

chiaralev your post says it all <looks for applause icon but can't find one>

The bizarre contradiction between the interference in non-academy schools and rhetoric about autonomy! Cheaper by far just to back off and let good schools get on with it now! In fact this intervention will cost nothing.

Too many exclamation marks I know but hey living dangerously!

Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 13:10:05

I am sick of the way Corbyn deals with Tories in the parliament debates. He treats them like children! Labour managed to ask five questions from Osborne today who finally came out of hiding (probably hoping that majority of media is focused on Brussels right now and also because he has no way out ) but there is no one who could bother to inquire about the scam about academization.

rollonthesummer Tue 22-Mar-16 13:11:03

I presume GO isn't going to mention academies in his speech as that's more Nicky's field of 'expertise' -I use that word very lightly.

Mumsnet-are you going to make any response to Nicky Morgan as a result of this thread? The thread has been mentioned in the papers and lots of parents and teachers here are very anxious and concerned about what will happen to our schools. Is there something you can do to raise awareness?

rollonthesummer Tue 22-Mar-16 13:19:37

Academies don't even have to follow the healthy eating regulations that lea schools do!


Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 13:23:12

Looks like you are waiting in vain to hear from a woman who is probably running around her office like a headless chicken now to back up the claims she made in the post here by some data, ANY data somehow ASAP.
So what's the plan? How long would you wait until declaring that she is not coming back for a live web chat?

curluponthesofa Tue 22-Mar-16 13:24:34

I have written to my MP (for what good it will do) - if you want to write to yours you can do so here

I also agree we need to push NM for a response.

mercifulTehlu Tue 22-Mar-16 13:26:27

Great post Chiaralev. It's all so damned depressing. And I'd love to know what they claim to be trying to achieve with the 'parent portal'. It sounds like a bit of pacifying nonsense to me - a token gesture to make parents feel as though they are having some kind of say in something.

The other thing that really worries me is what will happen to all the small primary schools. My dc go to a wonderful village primary with fewer than 50 pupils. There are quite a lot that size in our area. I doubt that academy chains are going to be interested in taking on little schools like that, so I'm guessing they will close.

Peregrina Tue 22-Mar-16 13:27:44

Has MNHQ given Nicky Morgan a timescale in which to respond? They should, everyone else has to meet targets so why not her?

I doubt if she is running around like a headless chicken, she wrote such patronising waffle, doesn't realise that she needs to back it up with facts and probably doesn't even realise how much anger she has stirred up.

Fedup21 Tue 22-Mar-16 13:28:58

I have written to my MP too-I fully expect the usual reply though. He tells me that Nick Gibb says there's never been a better time to be a teacher (bollocks) and that Nicky Morgan says there are more teachers than ever before. Possibly true, but there are lots more children than ever before.

Nobody listens though-they just don't care. What can you do if your MP doesn't care, the Secretary of State doesn't care and the press don't care? Clearly over 100,000 people cared enough to sign a petition and there are protest marches tomorrow, but what can we DO? If the commons and Lords pass it-it's done?

rollonthesummer Tue 22-Mar-16 13:29:44

I doubt Nicky Morgan has even read this thread.

Peregrina Tue 22-Mar-16 13:31:19

Does anyone know what the position of the church schools will be? Many village schools are still run by the C of E, simply because in the 19th Century they were the only people to bother to provide education for the masses. Would they be able to put a spanner in the works? Or is this another area where the white paper was long on waffle and short on detail? (Sorry for the grammar offence, starting the sentence with Or.)

rollonthesummer Tue 22-Mar-16 13:32:32

Just got this email through from the NUT. At least they are trying.

mercifulTehlu Tue 22-Mar-16 13:39:11

Peregrina - apparently there is at least one CofE academy chain which runs a whole load of church primaries but I have heard it's not very well run.

Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 13:39:43

That was a joke but honestly I don't think she does not realise what she has done. I think she is fully aware of what she wrote and why. I am also sure there is shitload of money to be made in it for her and her cronies so she would much rather prefer to ride the storm one way or the other. Just last night she managed to moan about the fact that the Newnight fellas had not been nice to her and had not shown her the data they were planning to question her about before she went on "live". So that gives me an indication that she is hardly going to agree to appear here on live web chat. That would effectively be end of her career if Mumsnet actually manager to get her to do it and publicise it in general press properly beforehand.

In my opinion, people like her must be brought to court to try and do stupidly dangerous self serving mutations to public assets. This is what she is up to: destruction of public assets.

rollonthesummer Tue 22-Mar-16 13:43:15

If she did come on for a live chat- it would probably be like one last year just before the election (forget who she was now) who insisted on typing her replies herself. It took her about 25 minutes of the chat to type 'hello mumsnet'. By the time she'd answered three or for (planted) easy questions, it was sadly time for her to be elsewhere so she could answer no more!

Total waste of time.

TwoLeftSocks Tue 22-Mar-16 13:43:23

Is the Shadow Education Secretary any good? Can someone tweet her this thread? And maybe Jeremy Corbyn too, see how effective they are as an opposition?

mercifulTehlu Tue 22-Mar-16 13:47:16

Actually I've just done a bit of research - apparently there are what are called 'Diocesan Multi-Academy Trusts' in various parts of the country. There's a document produced by the CofE in 2014 which suggests that currently many rural church primaries are on their own or in little gangs of two or three, but that if they want to give themselves a better chance of survival they had better join these Diocesan MATs.

Peregrina Tue 22-Mar-16 13:52:33

So it might not really affect small primaries in a big way? Presumably the church still owns the land, so there won't be any leasing of land at peppercorn rents to contend with.

Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 13:54:01

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

curluponthesofa Tue 22-Mar-16 13:56:54

Lucy Powell is Shadow Education Secretary, I've not heard much about her
She actually already tweeted about this thread herself so she is aware of it.

Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 13:57:49

Excuse me? Why did you delete my message? 😳

rollonthesummer Tue 22-Mar-16 13:59:05

I've found it-it was Harriet Harman.


She answered 5 questions in a whole hour and when later criticised for it, said she was sorry, her answers must have been too long!

It's pitiful!

Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 13:59:56

Oh sorry then MNHQ

LineyReborn Tue 22-Mar-16 14:04:41

I was just reading Valentine's message and it was deleted! It wasn't particularly offensive - if you accept the public, political role of being a Cabinet Minister or Secretary of State and then create an educational shitstorm, IMHO you are fair game to be called dim, surely?

The message also said if the Secretary of State accepted the web chat invitation it would be nice if the 'trick' of taking 25 minutes to write the initial greeting wasn't used. I think that's fair comment, given the overall context.

But it's interesting that MNHQ are 'on' this so quickly. There may have been complaints from the sensitive Secretary of State's office.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Mar-16 14:05:44


Excuse me? Why did you delete my message? 😳

Hi Valentine. Deleted because it contained a personal attack.

HamaTime Tue 22-Mar-16 14:05:54

This from the New Statesman re church land. The land will be owned by the church, but will be enforceably leased to the academy chain. i don't know what wold happen if the academy chain offered a shilling a year for 125 years, or if the church told the government to get tae fuck and did with the land whatever they wanted. Whatever happens it's somewhat arrogant of Nicky to just decide that the church will gaily hand over their schools to private businesses.

Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 14:08:40


<fidgets and mumbles something about not being able to vent etc but does feel sorry for what she wrote>

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Mar-16 14:09:44


I was just reading Valentine's message and it was deleted! It wasn't particularly offensive - if you accept the public, political role of being a Cabinet Minister or Secretary of State and then create an educational shitstorm, IMHO you are fair game to be called dim, surely?

The message also said if the Secretary of State accepted the web chat invitation it would be nice if the 'trick' of taking 25 minutes to write the initial greeting wasn't used. I think that's fair comment, given the overall context.

But it's interesting that MNHQ are 'on' this so quickly. There may have been complaints from the sensitive Secretary of State's office.

No complaints from anyone - we're just applying the same rules for guest posts as we do for MN users - no personal attacks. It's completely possible, I'm sure you agree, to make you argument without resorting to personal attacks.

Caprinihahahaha Tue 22-Mar-16 14:11:09


rollonthesummer Tue 22-Mar-16 14:12:20

As you're currently reading this thread, Justine--can you possibly tell us if you have any plan to follow it up with Nicky Morgan?

TwoLeftSocks Tue 22-Mar-16 14:14:44

Thankscurl glad she's aware of it. Useful link too, she's already put in a written request around budget costs for the conversions. Week be interesting to see if/what she raises over it all.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Mar-16 14:15:18


As you're currently reading this thread, Justine--can you possibly tell us if you have any plan to follow it up with Nicky Morgan?

NM's office are aware of the thread and we asked them last night to follow up - both with evidence to address some specific points raised on the thread and/or a webchat. We haven't heard back as yet. Will keep you posted as and when we do.

rollonthesummer Tue 22-Mar-16 14:16:59

Excellent-thank you!

LineyReborn Tue 22-Mar-16 14:23:02

I've just written to my MP and alerted them to Nicky Morgan's voluntary opening statement on this thread, the continuing absence of supporting data, and the responses from posters/voters - and the Guardian article about it.

curluponthesofa Tue 22-Mar-16 14:24:16

twoleftsocks - yes I noticed that she had tabled that question re costings too. I would love to know the answer.
I have tweeted her anyway to ask what Labour is doing re the White Paper.

Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 14:25:11

Oh ok I will be civil from now on. Just don't let this thread go anywhere. Honestly it will suck the life out of my next five years' plans for my kids if I have it home school my DCs.

Peregrina Tue 22-Mar-16 14:44:25

Interesting HamaTime - it would be good if the Church said, right, we'll pull out of education all together, thus calling NM's bluff. The DoE would be in a hopeless position and it might kill the programme off stone dead. It won't happen though.

Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 14:55:22

I can't get to the tv right now but can someone please tell me if ANYONE raised the issue of schools at the parliamentary debate so far? The disability cuts are the focus right now. How come Labour is missing this really important issue on such an important day? Nothing on social media so far that could tell me they did raise it.

LineyReborn Tue 22-Mar-16 15:09:20

Labour started all this nonsense when Ruth Kelly was Secretary of State for Education. Maybe Labour are a bit sensitive, too.

WhittonMum1 Tue 22-Mar-16 15:09:23

She isn´t very consistent in her ideas. How can Nicky Morgan say in this guest Mumsnet post that we have "the finest generation of teachers ever" yet at the same time she plans to scrap the current initial teacher training and induction process used to award Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Scrapping QTS gives heads the chance to fast track trainee teachers into shortage subject posts. This is important given current the teacher recruitment crisis. It is made to sound as though standards will be improving with the new system. I think it gives the opportunity for schools to recruit even more teaching staff, but what will the new system consist of exactly?

Scrapping QTS means that the numbers of teachers with QTS at a school will become an irrelevant and meaningless statistic. A fig-leaf for the increasing number of unqualified teachers that could be recruited into schools?

Nicky Morgan doesn't much value the current system for teacher training as she recently said about QTS: “...being an almost automatic award to staff who complete initial teacher training and a year in the classroom...". I think a lot of teaching staff would disagree that QTS after the initial teacher training and a year in the classroom was 'an automatic award'. Sounds as if she thinks they just turn up and get QTS at the end of it.

To obtain QTS teachers must provide suitable evidence for each of the teachers' standards. There are also professional skills tests to complete. The drop-out rates are always high as obtaining QTS is not easy.

She says: "it will be for the teaching profession itself to decide when a teacher is ready to be accredited. This will ensure that the decision is made by those who know best what makes a great teacher: outstanding schools and heads.” Outstanding schools have always been involved in teacher training and senior teachers have been already been observing and assessing those teachers. This isn't anything new.

So when she says: "the new accreditation will be awarded when teachers have demonstrated deep subject knowledge and the ability to teach well". I'm not sure what she feels teachers who gained QTS were doing to gain that qualification previously. The QTS standards after all were government standards.

This is not a statement from Nicky Morgan which is going to go to help the teacher recruitment and retention crisis. Imagine if those qualified teachers suggested that Nicky Morgan´s law qualification was an ´automatic award´ for the practice of law. It is an insult to those professionals.

As for scrapping parent governors she says: "The new emphasis will be on the skills – for example in business or finance – that an individual brings to a governing body". This sort of implies that those parent governors weren't bringing any other skills to those governing bodies apart from being a parent. I'm sure we can all agree that that isn't really fair on those who are currently parent-governors. But it is rather telling of the way this is heading when business and finance expertise in particular are mentioned.

If the individuals with those skills that are to be elected governors instead of parent-governors are also parents then I don't really see what changes. Unless if they are also parents of children at the school then they are no longer eligible to be elected. I doubt they would do that. Seems to me like she is trying to reinvent the wheel.

curluponthesofa Tue 22-Mar-16 15:09:55

I haven't seen it on tv but have read most of the summaries and can't find a single mention of schools. The Guardian have a live summary going:
I am dumbfounded why no-one is raising this.

Letseatgrandma Tue 22-Mar-16 15:54:02

Why is this just being ignored??

appieclappie Tue 22-Mar-16 16:06:45

This particular crop of Tories is degenerate. If you want to understand what the future of education looks like under an academy model, just study the American system. Don't wish it on your children! Here's the American experience: (Mumsnet, this is not a plug)

Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 16:14:07

My MP is silent. No replies to my messages or anything at all. No reply from Lucy Powell and no reply from Nicky Morgan. Either "We are all in this together " or could be that Labour is so overwhelmed (read incompetent to deal at multiple fronts) by the IDS saga that they can't come up with a proper strategy or can't be bothered yet.

TwoLeftSocks Tue 22-Mar-16 16:15:44

Does anyone know where the whole thing about parent governors has even come from? Is she assuming that wanting to ensure our children have a good education is some sort of conflict of interest? Is she assuming we don't have useful skills beyond nattering in the school yard? Does she think we're not professional enough our pulling our weight? Clarification very welcome.

TwoLeftSocks Tue 22-Mar-16 16:16:49

Sorry, the parent gov thing is annoying me the more I think about it.

WhittonMum1 Tue 22-Mar-16 16:26:09

Seems like Nicky Morgan is reacting to the Ofsted Chief Inspector's recommendations with regard to parent governance.

Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 16:28:23

To be fair, i have no clue where the WHOLE of this idea came from actually and I am nearly sure now that NIcky Mirgan does not have any supporting evidence either. They just though oh we have won an election and obviously can get away with loads. They underestimated the anger it was going to generate obviously.

noblegiraffe Tue 22-Mar-16 16:30:57

I remembered there being a bill about forced academisation for 'coasting' schools last year, the Education and Adoption Bill, so looked it up and it's apparently going through the Lords.
On the 8th February, there were some amendments, one of which says in explanatory notes '10 Lords Amendment 3 would provide that the Secretary of State must define in regulations what “coasting” means.'

They were trying to to pass through the bill to force academisation on any school that the Secretary of State merely 'considered' to be coasting. The Lords are now asking for a clear definition of what coasting means.

Is this why Nicky has gone 'sod this for a game of soldiers, let's just brute force a change on them all'?

Nicky - why have you suddenly changed from wanting to force academisation on coasting schools to include ones that are successful? Is it because you can't be bothered to define 'coasting' or because the Lords want a clear definition of coasting and it can't just be whatever you want it to mean for a particular school?

Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 16:34:38

It looks to me that the recommendation was not to scrap parent governors at all. It was actually to strengthen them by trying to attract talent with money. I think that's is where the problem could be? Since he said the current system is not working, and since we know Tories lol like they would rather die than put in more money into the state education, at some point some groups though oh why not scrap the whole things altogether as it is.
I know I know it's a twisted logic. But that my best guess. 😇

Letseatgrandma Tue 22-Mar-16 16:34:59

I really hope the Lords don't let this bill through confused

Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 16:36:52

Sorry for the damn typos 😣
Wanted to write "at some point some genius thought"

Valentine2 Tue 22-Mar-16 16:37:53

Ha ha
Lords have been hitting Cameron and Co where it really does hurt. No wonder Cameron was threatening to silence them.

WhittonMum1 Tue 22-Mar-16 16:46:43

He says that school governors should be paid for their work.

This opens up a whole new can of worms. Who decides who to employ and how much they are paid? Do they get industry-like consultancy fees?

Doesn't that then become a conflict of interests of your boss is the headteacher?

Difficult to be anything other than a yes man/woman under those circumstances. Motives might not entirely be in the best interests of the school and students. Certainly does give schools more freedoms though.

nlondondad Tue 22-Mar-16 16:50:17

Its being ignored in my view for two reasons:-

1.The announcement that all schools are to be Academies never belonged in the budget announcement anyway. The matter should be discussed in a debate on the Education whitepaper. Also the two Parliamentary petitions mentioned elsewhere on this thread have now each been signed by over 100,000 people (and really fast too) which means they must be considered for debate, so both universal, obligatory (otherwise known as "forced") academisation and the seperate abolition of parent governors will likely be debated.

2. Its a fact of life that the budget falling apart must take priority during a debate on the budget, over academisation, as actually it is politically very serious. Sufficiently mishandled the Government could fall. Unlikely, but possible.

rollonthesummer Tue 22-Mar-16 16:52:04

Nlondondad-do you think this academy bill will have to be Properly debated now?

LineyReborn Tue 22-Mar-16 16:56:58

Paying governors at least their expenses / loss of earnings / childcare expenses for attending meetings (frequently at 4-6pm) makes sense.

noblegiraffe Tue 22-Mar-16 16:57:19

Why was the education white paper released at the same time as the budget? Is this normal procedure? And why was the academies announcement made in the budget if it's the wrong place for it? Does the government not know what it's doing?

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