Sir Theodore is currently chairman of the Inspiration Trust, which sponsors schools in Norfolk and Suffolk and whilst he is education minister he will be moving away from all relevant business interests to avoid a conflict of interest.
Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), the largest education union in the UK, commented on the appointment.
“The newly ennobled Theodore Agnew will be dogged by the same issues as his predecessor over the future of this directionless policy. Every week brings news of a new financial scandal or collapse of a previously celebrated academy chain. Meanwhile the unaccountable bureaucracy erected under Lord Nash of Regional Schools Commissioners, is struggling to fulfil its own remit of finding sponsors where they are identified as being needed.
“In short, the academies system is descending into chaos, with teachers, parents and pupils paying the price. These fundamental flaws require a radical re-think, not just a new minister who has nothing to offer but more of the same.”
Mary Bousted, also Joint General Secretary of the NEU teaching union, said: “He has a big job to do. He has to get a grip of standards in multi-academy trusts, sort out the admissions process so schools don’t select their own intake, and stop the misuse of public money through related party transactions, and be on the ball much quicker than his predecessor when it goes belly up, like at Wakefield City Academies Trust.
“If he can do all those things, that’s great, but I don’t think he can because the Department for Education does not have the systems or information to do that.”
Director of the Parents and Teachers for Excellence campaign Mark Lehain, welcomed the appointment. “He’s someone who has literally put his money where his mouth is to improve the life chances of children in his home patch, and generally done so without drawing much attention to his own involvement.”
September 29, 2017