April 23, 2012 in Born to Learn, Uncategorized
It was in January of last year that I was advised by a colleague closely associated with Michael Gove the Conservative politician who six months before had become the Coalition’s Minister of Education, to have a meeting with Rachel Wolf – the 25 year-old former internee on whom Michael Gove was much dependent for pushing through his agenda on free schools, and academies.
The recent use of the word ‘academy’ to distinguish it from ‘schools’ is interesting; to Plato the Academy was a wooded garden where philosophers would discuss matters of great intellectual interest. In more recent parlance an Academy was seen as being something more than a school but less than a university, and frequently defined a group of people meeting around specific big issues… such as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, or academies of literature or music.
The use of the word ‘free’, in the sense of free schools, in the present English political context means schools that are ‘free’ of what some politicians have seen as being the disastrous intervention of local education authorities who, under the arrangements set out in 1944, acted as the intermediaries between central government’s responsibility for strategy, and its implementation in many thousands of schools.