Last night, I picked up a tweet from Addiscombe Labour councillor Sean Fitzsimmons, raising concerns about the providers on the shortlist to run the new primary school that will be opening at the Davidson Centre on Davidson Road next September. I asked him what his concerns were and he replied that only one (the Oasis Trust) has experience of running a school in Croydon.
How depressing. Why is it that some on the left believe in a closed shop when it comes to education (I stress “some” because other Labour politicians like Lord Adonis and Tony Blair played/continue to play in school reform)?
Sean could have used the “no experience of running a school in Croydon” argument against Oasis before they took over Coulsdon High or the Harris Foundation before they took over Sylvan High, yet they have both proved to be a great success. Having a range of different people running our schools, each with their own ethos, is a good idea (provided they collaborate with each other and engage with the local community) as it gives parents a wider choice. Far from ruling out people who don’t have any experience in the borough, we should be encouraging the best providers from around the country to get involved in driving up standards in our schools.