The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above
It’s hard to conceive that bringing Grammar Schools into the secondary education desert that is Knowsley could possibly help fix its woes but think tank Respublica seems to be suggesting otherwise.
Having said that Knowsley Council, who have presided over an education system that will result in no 6th Form A Level provision in the Borough from August 2017, seem rather put out and surprised by the recommendation. What’s even more odd is that the Council actually commissioned the report but claims that Grammar School were not in the draft it saw last May.
So what’s going on? Whilst Knowsley’s young people fail to get a decent standard of secondary education the Council is involved in a bizarre knock about in the media over a bizarre solution. You would have difficulty making this story up!
But under the waves a solution was found by Knowsley parents many years ago; they send their youngsters to secondary schools in neighbouring Sefton Borough.
Poor old Knowsley Borough continues to have big educational troubles, this time the only school with a sixth form is to close that provision.
The school is Halewood Academy and the Liverpool Echo article by Tom Berger (see link above) is fascinating and worrying because it shows how difficult it can be to hold an academy to account.
I wonder what Tony Blair is thinking now having invented academy schools as a New Labour policy? Of course they have been developed much further by the Tories but he started the process.
What the Tories have wrong here is that some local authorities are reasonable, good and even excellent in the field of education. However, because some are not assisting young people to get good outcomes then all education authorities must be in effect abolished. The educational issues in places like Knowsley are very much at the wrong end of the scale but a blanket ‘convert all the schools in the country to academies and cut out the local authority’ is hardly the answer. Indeed, it smacks of moving deck chairs around whilst the ship sinks.
Sometimes it is not the provider that is the issue it is the quality of the outcomes and for young people in education. Quality outcomes are the only thing that really matters.
I remain a supporter of Free Schools I would add.
Thanks to my story spotter Keith Page