Saturday 16 July 2016

Why Nicky Morgan's sacking is nothing to celebrate

Over the last six years the Tories have been carrying out a mass privatisation of the English education system. So far over 5,000 schools have been transferred, for free, to a bunch of unaccountable private sector pseudo-charities like the fraud riddled Perry Beeches academy chain in Birmingham.

The anti-intellectual backstabber Michael Gove privatised the most schools in his four years as education secretary, then he was followed by the widely detested Nicky Morgan who promised to force privatise every single school in the country. Rebellions in several Tory councils who quite like having control over their own schools forced a partial climbdown, but the threat of forced privatisation still looms over thousands more schools.

When Theresa May was anointed as Prime Minister she conducted one of the most ruthless culls of government ministers in history. The fact that Nicky Morgan was one of the victims was cause for celebration amongst teachers, pupils, parents and anyone who just gives a damn about the UK having an education system that isn't a complete shambles.

Unfortunately her replacement seems to be just as bad, if not even worse. In 2012, just months after the Olympic games Justine Greening backed the sell-off of the sports facilities of one of her local schools in Putney. Six tennis courts, a football pitch and a playground were sold off to property developers*.

Greening was on the board of governors and did nothing to stop the sell-off, then she supported the move to hand the school over to a private academy chain called ARK academies, which at the time was being run by the millionaire Tory party donor Stanley Fink (who now sits in the bloated anti-democratic House of Lords as an unelected Tory peer).

It would be laughably naive to imagine that Greening is going to change direction away from privatising our schools into the ownership of unaccountable private sector interests and then allowing them to top-slice education budgets in order to pay themselves obscene six figure salaries.

The Tories are ideologically wedded to the concept of transferring public infrastructure, property and services to private unregulated interests that it doesn't really matter who they appoint as education secretary; the privatisation policy is going to continue. In fact, Justine Greening's personal track record is a strong indicator that she's going to be every bit as fanatical about privatising the rest of the English education system as Nicky Morgan was.

The only way to stop this fanatical policy of transferring schools to unaccountable private interests is to vote against the Tories at  every opportunity you get, and in the meantime get involved in protests against the forced privatisation of schools in your area.

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