Adam Caller, Independent Education Consultant and founder of Tutors International, explains why academies fail.
Off the back of the recent announcements that the Prospects Academies Trust has failed, Adam Caller, founder of the world’s leading provider of full-time private tuition, Tutors International, today declared his opinion on the future of academies and their likelihood to succeed.
According to the BBC article, Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, described the free school and academies programme as “an ill-thought-out gamble with children’s education…All state funded schools should be under the umbrella of the local authority to ensure that there are proper checks and balances in place.”
Mr Caller believes that it is not the privatisation of education that is the problem, but rather the inexperience of the parents in governing the school, teaching quality, and the high turnover in leadership:
“Any school where parents are in control is bound to fail, most of the time. We see it in home-schooling groups, and now in UK academy schools. Some parents will be driven, outspoken and totally engaged in governing the school, while others will not. There will be differences of opinion, and some of those differences fester and lead to pockets of discontent. Then, as pupils grow up and leave the school, and the parents go too – a different wave of governance enters, with different ideas, and consistency is undermined.”
Many City Technology Colleges (CTCs) of the late 80’s have been converted to academies, and like the CTCs, the burnout rate amongst the teachers is high. Mr Caller believes the teaching calibre of CTCs is very high, and says we should see the same standards emerge from academies in time.
Mr Caller said, “Academies call for teachers who are dynamic, adaptable, and keen to change the way things are done. These are often teachers who are newly qualified, and so the calibre of teaching is often quite low to start with. These teachers also may seek out new opportunities and better positions elsewhere, but as academies grow we start to see that high level of teaching standards that came out of the City Technology Colleges.”
The Independent slated the quality of teaching in the E-ACT academy chain in March, and as it correctly states, Ofsted is forbidden by law from inspecting academy chains. However, because of concerns over standards at E-ACT schools, it mounted 16 separate inspections of individual schools run by the sponsor.
“I think it’s great that the UK has a system for dealing with failing schools,” stated Mr Caller. “We’re very lucky in that regard. Our continuous and detailed inspection of our country’s schools, including academies, and the ability to remove their sponsors or enforce special measures means parents and students can have a degree of confidence in educational standards. In this respect, our system is far ahead of many others.”
About Tutors International
Tutors International is a worldwide organization providing experienced full-time private tutors to work with children of all ages and nationalities, in a wide variety of situations, including international relocation, after-school support, full-time home tuition, support for AD/HD and dyslexia, home schooling for frequent travellers, and college prep and coaching.
Tutors International was founded by Adam Caller who has tutored students of all ages. He has received specialist training in dyslexia and AD/HD and is very sensitive to children’s educational difficulties. He has now turned this expertise to recruiting, training and placing other tutors with HNW and UHNW families around the world. Adam is a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).