This week in Blyth, Northumberland a local academy high school who ply their trade with kids from Northumberland’s most deprived wards and have some of the worst exam results in the Country, sent home 40 kids for poor behaviour, primarily due to them not wearing correct school uniform. It has been said to ‘improve exam results’
The Conservative Governments attitude towards school uniform in the academy setting is that parents have no say in the matter and children MUST have the correct uniform as prescribed by the school and if parents struggle to supply it then they must talk with their school.
The problem with this academy as with many academies operating in deprived areas, is that the school is drastically underfunded through the number of surplus places it carries and the uniform is over costly because the Trust that runs the academy also has academies in wealthier areas where parents can stump up to shop at the academies chosen supplier’s outlet.
When Lord Adonis launched the academy program, his wish was to see academies working in the poorest areas to improve education, but due to the profits academies can wring from the education of our children we have seen growth in wealthier areas leading to a drift away from academies working to the original principle, of those kids who have a higher attainment level, or who’s families can afford the transport costs to get them to another school in a wealthier area.
In Northumberland the education Czar and portfolio holder for Childrens Services Councillor Wayne Daley, who in June this year announced a £57M spend in Ponteland, Northumberland’s richest town, on a new school in his Leader Peter Jacksons Ward, has kept completely silent on this issue, thats probably because his Leader who said Northumberland County Council can’t pay its bills won’t want to cream any cash from their plans to help children from Blyth.