The Big Society is David Cameron’s Big Thing. With regard to schools he has been keen to emphasis the power that his government will grant to parents, for example in being able to start up their own schools. Aside from the deeply unpleasant, paternalistic notion of a government granting power (they can just as easily take it back again), there is a certain level of inconsistency in Cameron’s promises.
While we are being told that schools will be freed from LEA, control, that parents will have power with the establishment of free schools (unlikely, as private companies will run them) we have also been treated to the plans to fast track schools to the academy status. This is somewhat inconsistent, as parents will, inevitably be left out of the process. Here is an interesting piece by Fiona Millar (she’s a journalist specialising in education, she frequently writes in the Guardian and runs the site The Truth About Our Schools) in which she rightly points out that it is headteachers who will make the decision to move towards academy status. Parents will not be consulted.