Capturing the Castle: an exploration of changes in the democratic accountability of schools (FORUM 2)
Author: NIGEL GANN
The history of the forced conversion to sponsored academy status of Castle Primary School in south Somerset is a tale of broken promises, lies and a blatant breach of statutory procedures. Yet the Department for Education, the local Member of Parliament (and schools minister) and the local authority stood by – sometimes participated – while a small academy trust rode roughshod over the wishes of governors, staff and parents. This article is an extract from a yet to be published study of the whole process, reflecting on the way that the law, and good practice, in the accountability of schools has shifted over recent years. It highlights many of the dangers that will be amplified by the proposals set out in the White Paper, Educational Excellence Everywhere.