Saturday, March 26, 2016

more on academy schools...

You won’t be surprised to learn that I don’t pretend to know the finer points of property law!
However, I do understand that, before the general election, councils in England held the title deeds to schools and land valued at over £2.5 billion.
Sadly, as far as I can tell, the government’s proposals for Academy Schools will have depressing and far-reaching (and probably irreversible) implications for education:
1. When a school becomes an academy, the title deeds of the school and the land are transferred to a private company

2. The government borrows £25,000 to pay the legal fees for the private companies to ensure the title deeds are transferred from the council (ie. us, the taxpayers who paid to build the schools) to these private companies.
3. To date, it seems that £1billion of title deeds for academy schools have been transferred from councils/taxpayers to private companies (high of it for legal fees alone).
It seems that Academy Schools are not primarily about education - they are about asset-stripping (with the directors and shareholders of the sponsoring private companies being the beneficiaries). I’ve come across one example of this via the internet – where an academy sold part of its school grounds to Sainsbury’s for £21million… and where the company running the academy is listed as operating from the Cayman Islands (ie. double whammy: with taxpayers missing out twice).
Be afraid. Be very afraid!
PS: if you know different and I’ve misunderstood things, please do let me know!

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