Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

In the news

Forced community cohesion

ASCL came out strongly against the new duty placed on schools to promote community cohesion which, in the news, turned into headlines such as the Daily Mail's "All-white schools will be forced to build multi-cultural links".

In the Daily Mail, John Dunford stressed that: "This is an unnecessary and additional statutory responsibility for schools in an area where schools are already in the front line," a comment reflected in the Independent and BBC Online.

In the Telegraph, he pointed out: "In many troubled communities schools are already the only institutions promoting community cohesion."

He added: "This unnecessary piece of legislation was introduced as a compromise when the government failed to persuade the churches to support its measures on faith-based schools in the education bill. It should never have been added."

Progress on PFI

ASCL's efforts to get the DfES to act on 'legacy issues' affecting private finance initiative (PFI) projects drew the attention of television, radio and newspaper. Malcolm Trobe was interviewed on BBC Radio, Sky News and Teachers' TV, and an extensive feature appeared in the TES on 11 May.

Malcolm said: "The fact that the PFI process was supposed to 'free up' the leadership of the school to concentrate on improving learning and teaching has turned out to be a myth. Time and energy that should be spent on students' education are having to be expended on continuing negotiations with contractors to resolve minor issues.

"Unacceptably high management fees, for what is often mediocre service, are taking away money that should be spent on improving resources for learning.

For details on the DfES response to ASCL's concerns, see Members raise concerns over PFI 'legacy issues'.

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