NASUWT comments on new school network proposal

Commenting on the proposals from the New Schools Network that parents should be able trigger the sacking of headteachers in schools deemed to be failing, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“Clearly the proposals set out by the New Schools Network are designed to grab headlines rather than to make a meaningful contribution to debates about school standards and governance.

“In particular, the New Schools Network appear to ignore the fact that parents in maintained schools are already represented on school governing bodies.

“The parents elected by their peers have a key role in holding headteachers to account for their conduct and performance.

“What the New Schools Network fails to mention is that the free schools it was established to promote are under no obligation whatsoever to include parents in their governance structures.

“Indeed the story of the Government’s free schools and academies agendas to date has been characterised by the exclusion of parents from decision making.

“Rather than engaging in meaningless gimmickry, perhaps the New Schools Network’s time would be better spent focusing on ensuring that parents can have a more effective say in the governance of the schools that it has helped to create.”