Regarding Paul Foster’s column about Building Schools for the Future (BSF) on 9 March (page 40), I have deep suspicions about this initiative.
- On one hand, he says £5.8bn has been committed to new schools this year, but then says 78 academies are under construction, which is about £75m per academy. Really?
- BSF depends on local education partnerships (LEPs) – private sector companies specialising in funding, designing,building and maintaining schools on a national scale over a long period. Do these organisations exist?
- He says LEPs will transform learning outcomes. Surely the duties of privately owned companies are to shareholders. It is the role of teachers and parents to transform learning outcomes.
- What evidence is there that LEPs can run schools at a profit to satisfy shareholders and to a better standard than local education authorities?
- What will happen if LEPs cannot make the stipulated profit on their investments by running a school to the specified standard?
It is not the force for good that Paul Foster claims and should be scrapped forthwith.