Friday, 12 May 2017

MATs - Modern Day Slavery in Action

Most of us thought slavery had been abolished more than 100 years ago.

Slavery is any system in which principles of property law are applied to people, allowing individuals to own, buy and sell other individuals. A slave is unable to withdraw unilaterally from such an arrangement.

In this story in the TES, Governors of Greengate Lane Academy in Sheffield wanted to hold a formal vote on leaving Reach4  – a multi-academy trust (MAT) in Sheffield and South Yorkshire - which has since been rebranded as Astrea. But before the vote could be taken, the MAT dissolved the school’s local governing body on 4 April and replaced it with a transition-management board.

Governors of Greengate Lane Academy had been told that they would be able to leave Reach4 if they wanted to, but once the paperwork was signed their fate was sealed. Not only did the Governors of Greengate Lane Academy lose all control, they lost the school's surplus of £270,000 which was pocketed by Reach4. After complaining about this appropriation of control and finances, the Governors of Greengate Lane Academy were sacked.

The local community has lost all control of the school, the money that they paid into the school, and any influence on the strategic direction of the school.

The students and staff of Greengate Lane Academy are little more than chattels to be traded with other MATs. They have no say. The governors have no say. The local community has no say.

This is modern day slavery.

Most surprising of all is that this is all perfectly legal.

Greengate Lane Academy is a good school. It did not need to be rescued to improve it. It had a nice pot of cash reserves that someone had their eye on.

Your school, its buildings, teachers and students, can be taken from your community. Traded as a chattel.

Beware the MATs, the modern day slave traders!

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