Continued from "Fat-Cat Academy Pay Costs Pupils, Say MPs"
My interest in the recent story from The Times under the headline "Fat-Cat Academy Pay Costs Pupils, Say MPs" was not prompted by an a priori antagonism to Academies nor to highly-paid individuals. What prompted it I merely hinted at – and then not well - in the final sentence: “…the intrusion of corporatisation even into the charity sector”.
What’s this to do with conductive education, some will ask.
I suggest the answer is that if the CE organisation you work for or you are a Trustee or volunteer with or of which you or your loved one is client and that organisation depends for its income on public funds whether from the “taxpayer” or from individuals, then the questions raised by the Public Accounts Committee report about Academies and the story in The Times has everything to do with conductive education.
In my previous blog-post quoting “The Times” story, I highlighted several statements in red. Let’s turn some of them into questions. In your CE organisation:
“The lack of accountability is "alarming" and …. [top pay has] not been adequately explained”
Is there an “alarming” lack of accountability when it comes to top pay?
Has anyone explained to everyone, who gets what and more importantly, why?
“Schools are not a business, they are taxpayer-funded … “
If your CE organisation is not “a business”, then what is it?
You might reply it’s “a charity” but exactly how does that make a difference?
Does it make a difference if your organisation is funded by gifts and donations and by public fundraising, not by the “taxpayer”?
“The governance and financial management of these schools is fundamentally important to pupils' educational outcomes and future life prospects” (so the Committee called for) transparent and detailed information so that parents, parliament and other interested parties could hold the academies to account.”
Do you get all the information you want – and more?
Are you always told why things are being done the way they are?
How do you get to hear what plans the Board of Trustees have for the future?
How often do you see and talk with Trustees?
How many Trustees are parents or staff members? ( … and why?)
Meg Hillier, Chair of the Committee said that high pay diverted cash from the classroom. "Excessive [top] salaries deprive the front line of vital funds”.
Do you agree?
In your organisation?
To be continued.