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아카데미 교장 대표 ‘학교의 독립성 보장 요구’

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주영한국교육원
Date
01:06 25 Feb 2009
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2158
아카데미 교장 대표 ‘학교의 독립성 보장 요구’

□ Academy 란?
- 아카데미란 : 현 노동당 정부의 교육개혁 정책에 의하여 새롭게 탄생한 정부예산 지원으로 민간이 운영하는 새로운 학교 유형
- 2000년 학교모형 제시, 2002년 3개교 개교, 2008년 100개 이상 운영, 2010년까지 200개 학교, 최종적으로 400개교의 개교를 목표로 하고 있음
- 주로 도시 빈곤 낙후지역의 실패학교들을 대신하여 좋은 건물과 시설을 갖추고 교육과정 운영의 자율성이 보장되어 있음
- Academies were set up initially in the poorest areas of the county and were allowed to operate as quasi-independent schools run by private sponsors but publicly funded. It was believed that by giving them freedom to innovate in how they teach, they could tackle underachievement in areas that had been failed for many years.

□ 아카데미 교장협의회의 학교운영 자율권 보장 요구
- 정부가 아카데미 운영에 관하여 지나치게 간섭하고 있다고 교장 대표들이 비판하고 나섬
- 70개 아카데미 학교가 회원인 Independent Academies Association의 Mike Butler 회장이 당초 약속했던 독립성이 일련의 정부 공문서(government missives)에 의해 훼손되고 있다는 항의 서한을 Jim Knight 학교 차관(Schools Minister)에게 발송
- 지난 2년여 동안 정부의 공문과 새로운 법안들에 의해 학교 운영이 간섭받고 있는 현상에 대한 우려 표시
- 아카데미는 독립성을 바탕으로 역동적인 학교문화를 생성하고 이것이 학생들의 학습방식에 큰 변화를 가져왔는데 이 독립성을 없애는 것은 아카데미의 본질을 파괴시키는 것이라고 비판

□ 의미와 반응
- 이 서한은 아카데미를 성공한 교육 정책으로 복 400개 학교 운영 목표를 빨리 달성하려고 하고 있는 DCSF에 큰 당혹감을 줄 것으로 보임
- 현재까지 아카데미 정책에 대한 비판은 대부분 교원노조 측에서 나왔었으며 교장단의 비판이 나온 것은 처음이라는 점에서 상당한 파장이 예상됨
- 보수당의 Michael Gove (shadow children's secretary) : “We need more good schools, especially in poorer areas. But Ed Balls is making it harder for people with a track record of running good schools to do this. He is making a bad situation much worse.”
- Jim Knight : "정부는 아카데미의 독립성과 자유로운 혁신을 절대적으로 보장할 것이다“
- NASUWT 교원노조 Chris Keates : "정부의 많은 예산이 아카데미에 투입되고 있는 상황에서 학교의 적정한 운영을 기대 감독할 권리가 국민과 정부에 있다“ 라고 교장단의 서한을 비판

- The Times 사설(2월 25일자) : 아카데미 성공의 가장 핵심적인 요인인 독립성을 해치는 정책방향은 잘못되었다는 요지





'Leave academies alone, teachers tell government'

-Head of academies association complains that the government is interfering too much in the way the new schools operate-
-The Guardian 09.02.24


The government has today been accused of undermining the flagship school reforms of the Blair era by eroding the independence of academies.
The future of the academy programme is called into questioning in a letter signed on behalf of more than 70 academies who say the independence they were promised has been removed in a series of "government missives".
The letter to the schools minister, Jim Knight, is signed by Mike Butler, chairman of the Independent Academies Association. It says: "It is with growing dismay that those of us within the academies movement have witnessed government's changing tack over the last eighteen months or so. It appears that with every consultation, each missive and even new legislation from the DCSF, there comes further erosion of the independent status of academies.
"Academy sponsors, chairmen of governors and principals up and down the land are seriously questioning the long-term sustainability of the programme, when their efforts to positively impact on driving up educational standards and progress are being increasingly hampered by requirements to bow to the whims of quangos and to abide by additional regulations."
Academies were set up initially in the poorest areas of the county and were allowed to operate as quasi-independent schools run by private sponsors but publicly funded. It was believed that by giving them freedom to innovate in how they teach, they could tackle underachievement in areas that had been failed for many years.
The letter singles out the apprenticeships, skills, children and learning bill, currently going through Parliament, which requires academies to co-operate with Children's Trusts and forces them to take part in local behaviour partnerships.
With independence, academies have established "dynamic" cultures, which have radically changed the way children learn, writes Butler, who is also chief executive of the Djanogly city academy in Nottingham. "Take [independence] away and you remove the very essence of our organisations," he says.
"How many of the predecessor schools were failing their communities because they had allowed themselves to enter into a culture of excuse and blame? Is that a situation to which government wishes to return?" he asks.
Michael Gove, the shadow children's secretary, said: "We need more good schools, especially in poorer areas. But Ed Balls is making it harder for people with a track record of running good schools to do this. He is making a bad situation much worse.
"We would make it easier to set up new academies and make it easier for them to hire great teachers. Sadly, currying favour with left wingers ahead of a Labour leadership campaign seems to be Ed Balls's top priority."
Knight said: "It is surprising to receive this letter from the IAA today, as their recent correspondence has welcomed the details of our bill.
"We're clear that academies' independence and freedom to innovate is absolutely key to their success, which is why we will continue to protect them. These freedoms allow academy leaders to challenge traditional thinking and help make a complete break with cultures of low aspiration, introducing a new ethos and enriching the curriculum."
Chris Keates, general secretary of teaching union the NASUWT, said: "I find it staggering that a spokesperson for any organisation, whatever its vested interest, should consider it appropriate to complain about state funded schools being held democratically accountable.
"Millions of pounds of taxpayers' money has been poured into academies and the public has a right to expect that the democratically elected national and local government will ensure that it is used appropriately."

Financial Times 09.02.24
Academy chiefs hit out at education bill
Academy heads “are seriously questioning the long-term sustainability” of the government’s flagship education programme.
They complain they are “increasingly hampered by requirements to bow to the whims of quangos and to abide by additional regulations”.
A letter from Mike Butler, chairman of the Independent Academies Association, to Jim Knight, schools minister, warns that the course of government action is likely to foster “failures” in education policy. He describes parts of a government education bill that received its second Commons reading on Monday as “deeply disturbing” for academies.
The letter criticises the “further erosion of the independent status of academies ... with every consultation, each missive and even new legislation from the [Department for Children, Schools and Families]”.
Academies were established to remedy poor education performance in a particular district. They were set up as secondary state schools independent of local authorities, with a board of governors dominated instead by a financial sponsor. The rules were later relaxed to permit schools to be run by “educational sponsors” with a previous expertise in teaching, which were not obliged to donate money.
But since Ed Balls was appointed schools secretary in 2007, academy sponsors have complained that their independent powers have been reduced, with local authorities and other government organisations gaining more power. The letter to Mr Knight says: “It is with growing dismay that those of us within the academies movement have witnessed government’s changing tack over the last 18 months or so”, before going on to complain about a lessening of autonomy.
The association’s criticism was prompted by the apprenticeships, skills, children and learning bill going through parliament. The letter complains that it contains “moves to extend greater powers to local authorities”, and creates “yet another regulatory framework” by giving the new Young People’s Learning Agency, a government body, a role in assessing academies’ performance.
However, it praised Mr Knight, who became responsible for academies last year.
The association sent copies of its letter to Mr Balls, as well as to Michael Gove, his Conservative shadow, and to David Laws of the Liberal Democrat party. Mr Gove said: “We need more good schools, especially in poorer areas. But Ed Balls is making it harder for people with a track record of running good schools to do this. He is making a bad situation much worse.”
Mr Knight said: “We’re clear that academies’ independence and freedom to innovate are absolutely key to their success, which is why we will continue to protect them.”

The Times 사설 (09.02.05)
Independent schools

The Academies programme has been one of the Government's signal successes. It is bizarre and self-defeating to erode the very thing that makes it work

When the Government came to power in 1997 it immediately unravelled the limited but useful reforms to schools that had been left by its predecessor. It took a long time to realise that this had been a mistake. Unfortunately, it now seems to have forgotten the very lesson it learnt.
That lesson was that schools work better when they are free from the constraints of local authority control. The academy programme was established to allow schools to bring in new sponsorship, to vary the curriculum and to recruit their own staff. State funding would be supplemented by a partner such as a university, a philanthropist or a local business. Creativity would not be mandated in a minute from Whitehall and neither would it be grudgingly “permitted”. Instead, the initiative would be passed to head teachers and their staff who would be free to experiment, released from a handed-down formula.
They have responded admirably, showing that enterprising public service is possible as long as it is not stifled. The official evaluations of the academies have converged on a notable success story. Standards are rising faster than in other types of school. The 36 academies that have been open long enough to have results in both 2007 and 2008 have improved their GCSE results at twice the national rate. Far more pupils now stay on after 16 and successful applications to higher education have trebled. Sponsors contribute significantly to school improvement. Leadership and governance is very good. There are three applications for every place and six for every place at an academy on a brand new site. And all of this in parts of the country where there is an above-average number of poorer children and pupils with special needs.
If there has been a more successful government policy it is not immediately obvious what it is. It is hard to fathom, then, why the Department for Children, Schools and Families would want to ruin its own record. But that is exactly what it is doing. The Government has retained the target of building 400 academies. But it looks increasingly as if it does not understand the secret of its own success.
In a letter to Jim Knight, the Schools Minister, Mike Butler, the chairman of the Independent Academies Association, gives a detailed account of the ways in which the Government is implicitly, slowly but definitely reneging on the original academy idea. The core idea of the academy was, and is, independence.
Mr Butler expresses his concern that the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill seeks to extend greater powers over academies to local authorities. It will create another regulatory regime by giving the Young People's Learning Agency a role in performance assessment. It will enshrine a duty to co-operate with children's trusts and behaviour and attendance partnerships.
All of these things are, as Mr Butler says, incursions on the very independence that makes the academies a success story. Like any successful institutions, academies co-operate with other agencies all the time. But the crucial point is that co-operation is a voluntary transaction. Forcible co-operation is like planned spontaneity - a contradiction in terms.
It has been clear for some time that the Government is suspicious of independence for schools. It looks as if it prefers control to be in the hands of local bureaucrats than either head teachers or parents. The history of the shortcomings of such control is long and unanswerable.
Mr Butler's conclusion sounds like an epitaph. The current course is likely, he says, “to lead our country back to its failures of several years ago”. If the Government really has to learn its lesson over again, it needs to do so very soon.