Proposed Restructuring of the Hearts Academies Trust Primary Schools
A number of concerned parents have been in touch about the proposed restructuring of the Hearts Academies Trust primaries, Shackleton, Shortstown and Cauldwell. Shortstown is not within my constituency but Shackleton and Cauldwell are.
I am completely opposed to these plans, which include replacing three qualified and experienced head teachers with one executive head, accountable to a highly paid CEO. I know that my Labour colleagues at Bedford Borough Council are too and that there is widespread opposition across council leadership – so I’ll work to support them in their endeavours to make the trust think again. There is a lot about the way that this has been communicated and the lack of consultation that is deeply worrying.
To be clear, these schools are no longer under local authority control, so while the council can express a view (and I am certain that they will) they cannot necessarily stop it. This seems like a prime example of how the Government’s academies programme has eroded local accountability and influence, allowing trusts to put profits before the needs of children. The blame lies squarely with the Tories and their damaging policies. That is certainly something that I will be raising in Parliament at the earliest opportunity.