The DfE, mired in the depths of its own incompetence

23_april_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,411

Saturday 23 April 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

The BBC reports that the Department for Education (DfE) has just published its accounts nine months after every other government department. The National Audit Office (NAO), however, has severely reprimanded the DfE for failing to properly account for spending on academies. ‘The NAO says there is a level of “misstatement and uncertainty” that means the truth and fairness of the accounts cannot be verified.’

The DfE limply asserts that academies are subject to a “rigorous system of accountability”. Which is Tory newspeak for total carnage.

The NAO warns that the situation is likely to get worse in your drive to turn all schools into academies by 2020 and presents significant risks unless the financial capability (or competence as I like to call it) of the DfE and academies are not strengthened.

The Audit Office further warns, “the financial statements do not present a true and fair view and meet the accountability requirements of Parliament. This will become even more significant in the context of the planned expansion of the academy sector.”

In simple terms, the DfE is imposing academisation with such reckless haste it has finally sunk into the dismal barrel scraping depths of its own incompetence. Which begs the question, why, Mr Cameron?

Anyone with a sensible head and half a brain might consider that if this was such a blinding idea and good for education then it might sensibly be paced to allow for ease of transition and implementation that everyone can cope with. Which leads me to the inescapable conclusion that forced academisation it is being rammed through for the usual ideological purposes of privatisation, greed and profit.

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, has ‘provided an adverse opinion on the truth and fairness of its (DfE) financial statements’. This is the most damning verdict an auditor can impose on a set of accounts and the second time this has been imposed on the DfE (the first being in January 2015). I find it impossible not to believe that you, as a government, are determined to cause the most damage in the least time, ripping the heart out of the nation for a quick profit caring nothing for the carnage you cause on the way, leaving a generation to clean up an unholy mess, if that’s even possible.

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