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The News Line: News FREE SCHOOL ‘THEFT’ CONTINUES – ATL ASSOCIATION of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) president Hank Roberts last night alleged that there is a widespread theft of tax-payers’ money by schools which will get worse as more and more academies and Free Schools report directly to the Department for Education without any local oversight. 

Speaking at a reception in London, Roberts said that the financial accountability of schools is already too weak: ‘In my view the abuse and downright theft of tax-payers’ money is much more widespread than anyone suspects.

‘It will amount to millions and millions of pounds of tax-payers’ public money.

‘I am not saying that the managers of state schools are corrupt. The large majority are hard working and honest. However, if you multiply the opportunities for wrongdoing you will get more wrongdoing.

‘I call on Michael Gove to abandon his plans for every academy and Free School to be financially autonomous and overseen by him.’

Roberts accused Gove of making a massive attack on children’s education and the teaching profession in allowing academies and Free Schools to employ unqualified teachers.

Accusing Gove of blackmailing and bribing schools to get them to convert to academies, and riding roughshod over parental choice in the process, Roberts said Gove’s real agenda is to enable hedge fund managers and companies ‘to make a direct profit out of running schools.’

The first one has just opened – the Breckland Free School in Suffolk, which is to be run by the private, profit-making, Swedish-owned company International English Schools UK. 
 
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