Two Labour County Councillors who represent the Swale area have expressed their anger, frustration and concern at the news that Lilac Sky Academy Trust is no longer responsible for nine schools in Kent and Sussex, including Richmond Street and Thistle Hill on the Isle of Sheppey. Roger Truelove ( Swale Central) is on the County Council’s Education Cabinet Committee and Angela Harrison represents the Sheerness constituency.
Roger Truelove says,
” I can scarcely contain my anger. Why oh why are we entrusting our publicly owned schools to these unknown and generally unaccountable organisations? It certainly isn’t because their teaching or their management is any better than local authority provision as this debacle shows. Our children’s schools should be open to local scrutiny and local democratic decision making.”
” Both of us find it exceptionally frustrating that when something like this occurs, we know nothing about it. We have consulted senior education officers at the County Council but they have no say. They are simply told by a remote bureaucrat called the Regional Schools Commission, who has responsibility for the South East and South London and is answerable to no-one apart from the Government Minister. He has indicated concerns about the Governance of the Trust, which of course could mean any thing,possibly financial management.”
” It is disturbing that the Local Education Authority is kept at arms length in this academy system but my immediate concern is for the children concerned. We are told that other Academy Trusts have been allocated by Mr Herrington (the RSC) but wouldn’t it be nice if these schools, paid for by the public, were returned to the County Council and to a level of democratic accountability.”