When Andrew Adonis nearly joined UKIP

John Rentoul

aa 300x180 When Andrew Adonis nearly joined UKIPLovely passage in Andrew Adonis’s brilliant new book, Education, Education, Education. He tells the story of how the academy schools programme was threatened by legal action in 2006, one of many devices used by supposedly egalitarian opponents of the policy, that turned on whether academy sponsorship was governed by EU procurement law:

The prospect of Brussels banning England from improving its schools through charitable endeavour was almost enough to get me signed up to the UK Independence Party.

Buy the book. Buy it for your mother. Buy it for everyone you know. It is such a clear analysis of what went wrong with British schools and how to put it right. It was the dominance of the “secondary modern comprehensive” that was the problem and independent sponsors that were the solution. Adonis noted, at an early stage of his interest in schools policy, that typically the best state schools had an historic trust or foundation, and/or one of the churches, standing behind the school and its governance and ethos.

I always feel a lump in my throat when I read the Mossbourne Academy story, which I know is sentimental, but Adonis tells the story of the academy programme with such impatience and clarity that it is hard to avoid tears of frustration that this visionary and noble plan was obstructed by so many in the Labour Party for so long.

Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

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  • greghartleybrewer

    Your ‘Iraq again’ blog is no longer on the main page. Nothing to do with the swift rebuttal from Kevin Marsh available on his blog that destroys your arguments, I’m sure.

  • John Rentoul

    You are quite right; it is nothing to do with Marsh’s rebuttal, which I have already rebutted. Technical issue with the blog categories, into which the boffins are looking as I type.

  • porkfright

    I give Adonis no credence at all, as so far I know he has never taught in a proper school. The whole Academies garbage has nothing to do with education and everything to do with privatisation in my opinion. The sort of rubbish that has been tried in the U.S.of A. and found to be wanting-to say the least.

  • Stuart Parr

    It’s nothing to do with British schools, it’s about English schools – education is devolved. It’s been 13 years since devolution was given to the celts, why do the media still find it so hard to understand the difference between English and British?

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