Could and should a charity consortium run a democratic school?

“If youth charities can run schools can we expect these will have pupil voice and empowerment at the centre of the way they run?”

That was the content of a message posted to Twitter on Friday by Fiona Blacke. Presumably she was writing in response to the government’s scrapping of the £2million Academy sponsorship fee, currently required of voluntary and private sector organisations that want to sponsor schools. (More about the Academies programme.)

Asher Jacobsberg of involver picked up on this and asked if there was any interest in a consortium to “try it out”. He marked the message for the particular attention of a number of charities, including ourselves.

Clearly any project proposal for this would need to go through the proper internal channels, but it is an interesting topic for discussion:

  • is there a case to be made for a flagship school centred on pupil voice and democratic principles;
  • what would such a school look like;
  • could one be run successfully by a consortium of enthusiastic voluntary organisations;
  • if not, what possibilities are there for supporting other sponsors in achieving similar goals?

What do you think?

Views expressed on this blog are not necessarily those of the Citizenship Foundation.

2 thoughts on “Could and should a charity consortium run a democratic school?

  1. Yes it’s possible. Is it likely many (if any) of those organisations would (or even could) do it? I very much doubt so.

    I’m sure there are schools that would already claim to be doing these things. In terms of a model of governance there are stories of parents taking over schools due for closure – I remember one that actually had a head teacher who wasn’t a qualified teacher – just a local parent who led a local consortium to prevent closure and apparently it was very successful, so there are models to learn from.

    I think the approach the RSA is using is maybe more realistic:

    http://www.thersa.org/projects/education/future-schools-network

  2. Pingback: Should we run a democratic academy? | involver

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