Friday, 27 June 2008

Boris Johnson's advisor says privatise our schools

Boris Johnson's senior planning advisor and head of the Local Government Association has called for the full-scale privatisation of Britain's schools.

The former cohort of Shirley Porter, now hugely influential Tory, said that state schools should be sold to private companies, who would then run them for profit. Speaking to the Times he said that:

“I have no difficulty with that idea. My view, and the LGA’s view, is that councils are not meant to run schools any more.”

Of course private and voluntary organisations already run state schools under the academies programme. But while currently all income from hiring out their services goes back into the schools, under Milton's plans companies would cream off all profits into their coffers.
Teacher's trade union NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said yesterday:

"Sir Simon’s comments suggested that the sector would face massive upheaval under a Tory government. State education is about social justice and protecting the weak, vulnerable and disadvantaged. If you make all that subject to profits, you will be throwing the public service ethos out of the window."

There is concern that schools would lose all of the 'added value' that the public sector currently offers. As public servants, teachers work very long hours and at weekends for no extra pay. If those same schools were run for profit, then there would be no motivation to work beyond their pay. 

In fact, use of all school facilities outside of school hours would be rigorously judged on a for profit basis, meaning the needs of the children would inevitably lose out to the needs of the shareholders. 

Of course, we do not yet know exactly what a Tory government would do and Shadow education spokesman Michael Gove has so far denied having plans to run schools for profit. 

But if these astonishing comments from the Tories most senior spokesman for local authorities, manage to slip out without a protest, then surely a resurgent Tory party will believe that anything is possible.

-UPDATE- Surprise, surprise readers. The goons over at ConHome just LOVE the idea. Sell them, sell them!


Anonymous said...

Just when you thought it was safe to come out at night, then someone lets the Tories out. Anyone who knows Milton will know that he is the bread and butter of the Tory party and no matter how nicely Cameron and his team sell their party to us, this is what we will be getting with them. Cameroonism is just Thatcherism with bells on no matter what they try and tell us.

Paulie said...

This Simon Milton seems to be popping up all over the place. He's been going on about CCTV cameras and words that should be banned from the public sector. So presumably as the chair of the LGA he is speaking on behalf of the majority of local councils which are Tory yes? In which case, this is the way most local authorities want to go, so presumably this is the way Dave and co will want to follow. i mean, if that is the case then fair enough but I think we should be told about it. But is he speaking for himself or for local authorities or for what? A sounding board?

Anonymous said...

Oh yes please! Can we sell all the bedwetting teachers as well. Maybe if people had to work for their money rather than being baby fed by the nuliebour governmetn we might get somewhere in this country.

H&F Council Worker said...

Worth pointing out Sir Simon' s Westminster council is notoriously incompetent at education.

Will no longer run any secondary schools from Sept 08 as they're all now either Academies (converted from failing schools, after 18 years of Westminster CC mismanagement) or are opting out as Foundation schools - reluctantly, but this seems only way to escape the dead hand of Miltonville.

Basically Westminster has never run or funded its secondaries properly. Just talk to any local parent with a child about to leave primary school!

The Tory Troll said...

Well it's one step on from selling graveyards I suppose.

You know I have yet to hear a good word about Westminster Council, which considering how many of Boris's team have come straight from them is more than a little worrying. Oh well at least they're only in charge of the unimportant stuff like planning and policing. Otherwise we could really be in trouble.

trevor said...

Well, if Sir Simon's Westminster is anything to go by, we're in for a treat.
You may recall that when North Westminster was taken over by the United Learning Trust it was an absolute disaster with parents so angry that even a Labour MP had to withdraw her child from her own government's flagship.
Because Westminster can't run schools, it doesn't mean to say other authorities are unable to.

Howard Thorp said...

I think Simon Milton - who? - should shove his ideas right up his arse