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Business-Managed Democracy

“Business-managed democracies are those in which the political and cultural arrangements are managed in the interests of business”

Sharon Beder

Business-Managed Education

Trust Schools

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Despite the lack of evidence that academies boost academic performance, and their highly variable success rate, the UK government established trust schools, which are similar to academies except the sponsors, such as local businesses, do not have to contribute a set amount of money. Such schools are funded by the government in the same way as normal local authority-maintained public schools but would be run by a charitable foundation or trust that appoints the board of governors, owns the school land and assets, employs school staff and sets the schools admissions policy.

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Protest against trust schools - Source: The Guardian

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According to the Department for Education and Skills (DfES): “The Trust may bring a brand and a distinct and recognisable ethos to the school or group of schools.” Companies that are interested in running trust schools in the UK include the transnational accountancy firm KPMG and Microsoft, which already sponsors a number of specialist schools in the UK.

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A proposal in 2006 by then education secretary, Ruth Kelly, to make all public schools into trust schools is said to face opposition within the ranks of Labour MPs. However, failing schools may be forced by the government to become trust schools and therefore “be taken over by external sponsors, either business or a federation of schools run by an executive ‘super head’.”

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