(not satire – it’s the Tories!)
(UPDATE: The Cameron government has decided today to hand the school over to one of his party donors: Government defies campaign and forces Hewett School in Norwich to become an academy)
It’s a sad reflection of the all-pervading stench of corruption in the UK today that this is not a front-page scandal worthy of ministerial resignations.
Before the election stops them, the Tories have been rushing to hand over a state school – with substantial lucrative real estate and assets – to a private chain of schools owned by one of their donors despite protests from parents.
In fact just about everyone in the local community is against this so-called ‘forced academisation’ of Hewett School in Norfolk.
Even the local council has threatened the government with High Court action – all to no avail.
The story began when Hewett’s Ofsted score strangely plummeted in just 18 months from ‘good’ (May 2013) to ‘inadequate’ in all areas (October 2014). Governors who were ‘communicating well’ in 2013 were suddenly deemed to be failing in 2014.
That was when the DfE started talking about handing the school over to a private school chain – the Inspiration Trust – owned by Tory Party donor Sir Theodore Agnew.
The Inspiration Trust was in the news last year when emails showed that pro-privatisation Ofsted inspectors had been ‘cooperating’ with them over inspections:
As a result of Ofsted’s inspection, the governors of Hewett were sacked by the DfE and the local authority’s choice of governors was also rejected with no reason given; the DfE simply put in their own people instead.
Then the government cut over £400,000 in funding to the school and the DfE also refused Hewett money for essential refurbishment work.
And now the school is to be handed over to Inspiration despite protests from local residents, parents, pupils and even the local authority.
Hewett was formerly 3 schools joined into one, hence the site is enormous: a juicy chunk of prime real estate in the centre of Norwich.
Could the government’s determination to let Inspiration get their hands on it have anything to do with the fact that Inspiration Trust’s existing school in the area – Jane Austen College – is lacking in adequate grounds?
Or the fact that Inspiration is owned by an important Tory Party donor?
Of course not.
More information on the campaign to save Hewett school here:
And on Facebook:
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