25/11/2012 Sunday Politics East


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Here in the East: Questions over the sponsors of


Academies, after a successful head teacher quits his post.


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2253 seconds


Here's one answer to the shortage Proof later, the academy where


ahead improved exam results quits after apparently falling out with


its sponsor. Many parents will be seeking to solve the problem by


moving their kids to another school. This this your ideal of a


classroom? The plans to turn an office block into a school to help


provide desperately needed schools places.


First, let's meet our guests, Elizabeth Truss, education minister


and Conservative MP for South West Norfolk, and Daniel Zeichner,


Labour's parliamentary candidate for Cambridge. I wanted to begin


with our sighing -- soundbite of the week, we hear from Simon Ash,


the chief constable of a Suffolk police who just days after the PCC


elections has announced he is to go in February.


I think we have got to be very careful we don't assume there


aren't a lot of good Chief officers developing behind us who are fit


and able to take on those roles. I am absolutely confident there are


really good colleagues are there who are already and I'm sure we'll


apply for this job. He seems they are dropping like


flies. On the day of the PCC elections came at the Essex chief


constable will not actually see out his 10 either. People like the


former home secretary, Charles Clarke, said this would be a


disaster. I don't think it is. The police


commissioners have just been elected, they have got their time


in office to show the difference they can make. What is going on


across the country is at their wrath changes in policing, we are


developing a national crime agency which will mean more monitoring of


crime at a national level, and people do move jobs, they move into


different jobs, that is perfectly natural. We will be able to judge


the results from the police commissioners in what happens in


four years' time, once they have had a period of time in office,


that is when we should judge the results.


We have been told more chief constables could go, this is a


shambles. Just the word I was going to use.


The last thing we needed, when crime was falling under the last


Labour government, was to compete reorganise the police service, at a


time when massive cut a be made as well. I have every sympathy with


the chief constables who have looked at it at the people did last


week and given it the thumbs down. Wasn't it hypocritical for your


party to support the elections, if you didn't support the role?


We didn't oppose the elections, but you have to put up candidates, it


would have been foolish not to have done so, but we thought it was a


total waste of money. Chief constables are saying the same


thing. Now, to the growing number of


Academy Schools in our region and what is to belief -- believed to be


the first is the, ahead of an academy in Basildon after falling


out with its sponsor. Dr Rory Fox, who has improved exam results by


one-third since taking over in 2011 is to leave, raising questions over


whether the academy system is at the mercy of private backers who


are not educational experts. They wear and still art schools and


special measures. But since Dr Rory fox became head of the Basildon


academies in 2011 results have been improving. Despite that Dr Fox has


resigned. Apparently it is over a difference of opinion with the


School sponsor about the way the schools are run. Which raises the


question, who is in charge of an academy? Is it their head or is it


the sponsor? In a statement the Department for


The Basildon Academy's head and the sponsor have both declined offers


to comment. It is inevitable when the school has now got the


reputation it has, that many parents will be seeking to solve


the problem by moving their kids to another school. It does mean those


students whose parents are concerned about their progress have


gone nowhere else to go, which is crucially important for the


government to take action now to address these issues.


Despite exam results improving at the Academy's the row pupils like


Amaris Northcott he did agree with Dr Fox -- Dr Cox's discipline


regime that can see pupils being put into isolation for relatively


minor offences. He fell stressful, I did not want


to go. I had to go to school but it was really uncomfortable, I can get


on well. He mother says under the academy


system he seems there is no way for parents with concerns to go.


I was astonished how difficult it is as a parent to be heard. I went


to the welfare officer, everywhere committed try to get somebody to


listen to the problems going on, and the school were not doing


anything about it and they wouldn't return your call, speed you.


Traditionally county councils govern state schools. Under local


authority control Perez with concerns about a school can have


them addressed by the Council. However, academies are answerable


to the education secretary with the schools commissioner set-up to deal


with issues raised by parents. But confusion is widespread. Not even


Basildon's MP is aware of the commission's existence.


Up until this point I have had no need to contact them, but following


this interview I will find a what the role of the Schools Commission


is and how it can help facilitate contact. If this body exists, as it


obviously does, I will be looking at how it can help facilitate


better communication between schools and parents.


Parents who are pleased with Dr Fox's progress says the academies


are unhappy he is leaving. I think it is very sad. City has


been here the school has come up. It is really annoying to here he is


going. He has done a brilliantly good job.


His scenes when it comes to academies whether or not the


sponsor, governors or trust has a background in education, ultimately


it is the sponsor's decision whether a head stays or goes.


We believe the news -- the new head stars this week. Daniel, who should


be in charge of the school, a sponsor or ahead? I was a chair of


governors for many years, it ought to be the head teacher. They're the


experts, the professionals. Having these shadowy private organisations


that nobody knows how to hold to account is wrong. I am sure some of


the organisation's will quibble with you calling them shared a week.


What qualifications should a sponsor have?


Sponsors go through a rigorous process through the Department of


Education to be sponsors of academies, to make sure they are


fit to undertake that role. The problem with what Daniel is


suggesting is who judges their head teachers. If the head teacher isn't


doing a good job and her teacher is in charge had we make sure Keith is


caught improves? There was a full system of accountability. Schools


are accountable to OFSTED, if offset their good judgment the


school isn't doing well enough that is a factor. They at a canter more


through their floor standards. If needs be the Department of


Education can step in. There is a rigorous process that Academy


sponsors go through without determining whether or not an


Academy can sponsor a particular school. The Academy programme has


had huge benefits for our education system. The whole concept of


Academy sponsors was introduced and the Labour government side cannot


quite see why the Labour Party representative is objecting. Labour


was focusing attention on schools in the poorest areas were they


really needed a big investment. What this government has rushed


head lock into converting all schools into academies, and making


no account of the kind of local accountability his parents are


talking about. There's talk about the concept of private


organisations leading academies. You cannot know the conditions of


every school around this country. If parents are concerned they can


go to local people. There's talk about Michael Gove. My


understanding is he is at the top of the tree, that Parma for


Education has responsibility for answering questions about these


academies. You have introduced a vast number of academies. How is Mr


Gove able to cope with administering 2000 schools?


whole point is through the selection process these we make


sure the care the responses of fit for purpose it was invented under


the previous Labour government. We thought was a good idea so we have


continued and expanded it. The whole concept of the private


sponsor was the idea of Andrew Adonis, the Labour government


minister. We support the concept, we have introduced it further. All


the evidence from systems across the world suggest autonomy is


really important, so that schools have power over things like


teachers' pay, the curriculum, how they run and organiser school and


how these a budget. That has been very successful. In a small number


of cases where there are problems, there is schools commissioner whose


role it is to look at those problems within the Department for


Education. There is a sanction. The whole point is academies a really


raising the Game of the performance of the education system. Daniel,


what about this commission and, do you think parents are ill-informed


enough about their very existence? The have got no idea. The point is


we have a system where plenty of schools were actually functioning


extremely well, very high standards in the City and Cambridge, he


didn't need this organisation. What was needed was the schools that


were really struggling. That was Labour's approach and the right


thing to do. This is actually about a mass privatisation of education,


ultimately to run schools for profit. Their stay with education.


There is a shortage of places in our primary schools. In some parts


the fastest-growing region of the country getting a school places


becoming a real challenge. In Peterborough the council has had to


create an additional 10 classes for children in their first year at


school. According to local authority figures we estimate by


2016 there will be another 42,000 children needing to stop prime we


schools across the region and there are currently no places for half of


them. Year 6 pupils in nearby new


classroom. This extension beasts pupil numbers from 422630. But at


near by Northampton Vale they are still waiting for their new school


buildings, some youngsters are taught in mobile classrooms.


Because Peterborough Leeds City Council is struggling to


accommodate growing pupil numbers. The City has the second highest


birthrate outside London and there is a massive inward migration,


largely from the senior up. We are seeing families that have four


children under attending for different schools, because we


simply cannot get them into the local area. About five years ago we


were taking 2,500 children into reception, this year we are at


2,800, I expect to be 3,500 him if he is kind. By have schemes on our


books for about �80 million worth of school extensions, paid for from


the council tax payer in a local area through the local authority.


We cannot sustain that going forward, that will not do with the


increases. We have an acute funding pressure coming. It is not just


money. There is also a shortage of land to build new schools. Another


council is looking at the All hospital site and a disused railway


shed. Elsewhere in Northampton the local authority wants to convert


this former office block into a new school. The Union says there has


hardly any play area and the building itself is unsuitable.


is very difficult to increase the space around the site, so that is


likely to result in problems with discipline, not be able to have


told you groups meeting in the hall, at restrictions on productions can


put on. All those things are important for George and education.


It is not just about what they're doing in the classroom. Have been a


different approach around the use of a building like this, over three


stories, that is not new, we have had that in London, Bristol, for a


long time. It is just new in this council. Good space outside,


potentially looking a space on the roof, that has been done elsewhere


in terms of playground on the roofs of buildings. We also know there


are parks and things nearby. We just need to think little bit more


imaginatively. The school would be attached to this primary-school.


Family said mixed-use. Go for it. Anything that isn't did, why not


use it? If the office block was in a better place, it is in a very


busy traffic every year and has not much ground surrounding it for play


times. I have got into of Abington Vale last year because the put


extra class indeed reception so it is really disappointing that nobody


has thought about it sooner to do something about the problem.


problem was in its secondary schools. Officials describe it as a


ticking timebomb. The real pressure will come when youngsters that have


been part of this boom start to make their way through to secondary.


We have already had a conversation with the secondary head teachers in


and around Northampton about options. We believe we will have to


build at least one it you secondary-school. Also we may have


to look at other buildings such as this, to add to our secretary


capacity. Council officers say they can see no end to the current


population boom. It means sites like this could be more, in the


future. 20 mean out his Councillor Andrew


Grant, Northamptonshire's Cabinet member for children, learning and


skills. What is the picture when it comes for places in


Northamptonshire? How will you cope? We had a problem in January


were we had a number of late applications after all the


admissions had been done, add we spent time during the summer


identifying the number of schools where we could but temporary


measures, we'll put in plans together to extend his school's


permanent extensions. We looked at the office block which defeated


earlier. These are all part of the solutions to meet the rising boom


in terms of newborn birth and inward migration and we have had a


late number of more applications from piece -- people from Eastern


Europe. He pulsate You know how many babies have been born so you


have for years to make provision. We currently have in September 1956


1,000 children in our promise course, we are forecasting by 25


per and 15 42,000 -- and in 20th September 107400 places. Obviously


that is using all our intended capital the government intends to


provide. We are a growing county. Whisk the new census figures being


released we'll finally been able to Pru finally we need the extra money


we haven't had in the past. What about the role of academies. You


have no control over their intake. We welcome them. We had a number


that converted under the previous government, some have continued


through failing to convert, a number have converted. We have a


great relationship with the number of schools we are proposing to


extend which up academies, we are working closely together, and of


the Sleep we want to continue to provide all other children with the


best possible education outcomes. Daniel, are you aware of the


position in Cambridge? It is really that here too. Down the road we


have got another shambles will we have a new school that has opened,


the old school site is across the road, we would like to reappear but


the current government will not let the County Council do, it assisted


has to be an Academy of free school to the government is making the


situation worse than need be. Labour got rid of mobile classrooms,


and discovered is that a mobile classrooms back. What about this


position academies put local operatives in where they have no


control? We have provided a further 800 million basic need funding for


councils were the population is rising. We have seen councils third


Peterborough and more fun de sure of finding solutions, three schools


and academies help. -- Northamptonshire. There is a free


school in Corby which provides extra places. I go the we should


look at the baby boom as wholly negative, he's a new children


growing up, some countries are struggling with the birth rate and


not getting next generation through. We have got an opportunity year,


lots of young people coming through this is done, I think that is great.


The thing we haven't talked about here is teachers. The most


important factor it in a tell dedication isn't the building their


run, that is how good the teacher is. What we're doing is providing


bursaries to get more people into teaching, to attract top graduates,


and that is what will really make a difference. I don't think we should


be wholly negative about this. It is a positive thing we have got


more young people. There's been a BECTU provision of places, who is


going to have an overview of her -- let's bring it back to provision of


places. The answer is that -- the local authority is responsible for


sufficiency. The fund deja a working with academies, free


schools, to make sure there are enough places Bath Northamptonshire.


In my county of Norfolk County Council take a positive attitude


towards academies, they see there'll a strategic rather than


trying to Connacht cause, they are making sure there is the


sufficiency of places available for students. There's give the county


council's the position where they are understanding the overall


changes. Array to bring Councillor Grand beckoned. Is there money to


pay for all these things? Is there money to provide places for these


children? There is basically money allocated and we are assuming the


government will continue to fund that in the next four years, hence


why we are planning the places we are. Providing it is maintained we


will deal with those places. We will also have money that will


provide additional resources but it is right we make the allegations of


the money that we get from government going to the best use we


can, and if that is in the build extensions or looking at


alternative accommodation, we will get body formally for our taxpayers.


Labour induced the ideas of academies. Do you not agree this


has put local authorities in a difficult position? Going back to


the point, academies were introduced by Labour for the small


number of telling just schools which needed a new start, we did


not take away the structure above them which was needed to allocate


resources in a sensible way. There is no middle to a stricter in


education. Basically, it is going to be a free-for-all, and they


really fear for what we will see in any of our counties in the East of


England in the years ahead. We will have to leave their discussion to


stop that queue for the time. -- thank you for your time. She may be


out but is she down, it is a jungle Basildon Hospital is facing fresh


concerns over its standard of childrens' care following a spot


check by the Care Quality Commission. It is disappointing and


people be confident in the fact this hospital can deliver a decent


level of care. And caring for our fish stocks


prompted one MP to call for an end to illegal poaching from our lakes


and rivers. This is an issue of criminality. If you take fish and


don't return them it is theft. A welcome for Bedfordshire's new


Police and Crime Commissioner, one of eight who have taken up their


posts this week. And joy from Labour as new MP for


Corby, Andy Sawford, takes his place in the House of Commons.


urge all part of the public sector and the private sector as well, to


consider the case for a living wage of �7.45 per hour.


Meanwhile MP Nadine Dorries, leaves the jungle and defends herself


against the former chief whip. didn't give me permission for the


sherbety did give me the permission to have the month away. You were to


be an MP, would you do that? don't think so. It was poor


judgment but she probably did better than the Billington boys


would have done. Has she disgraced error office? Well, I think that is


a Dutchman for her local constituency party. -- judgment.


What a would say is I don't envy her time in the jungle, all those


rats and dogs looked horrible to me and I have got no intention of


going anywhere near it. How are you doing her appearance? There was a


lot of MPs watching the show and seen it. She has been away for a


while, I think she needs to come back and talk to the parliamentary


party. What about the fact that people are saying she has reached


at younger people, they'd MPs hip and trendy? Not buy you are not


already. I think she has lately demean the Office. Are we allowed


to nominate other MPs? I would love to see Michael Gove with the plight


of cockroaches? It would be a great picture.


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