Company hands schools back to Hackney council

Learning Trust offices Mare St library building Hackney Lon E8 19072012 © DA

THE LEARNING Trust, the not-for-profit company that won the contract to run education when the government took it off Hackney council ten years ago, is having its contract ended.

On Wednesday 1 August 2012,  a department newly created within the council, to be known as Hackney Learning Trust, will take over education in the borough.

The Learning Trust was the first private company in the UK to be given a local authority’s education responsibilities. The development, shaming for the council, came after bad school-inspection reports persuaded Tony Blair’s government that Hackney council’s administration of education was hopeless and that privatisation was the solution.

The Learning Trust did not explain to Loving Dalston why its contract is not being renewed. Cost is believed to be the reason, but the trust is presenting its tenure as a triumph.

Learning Trust, Hackney literature July 2012 © ∂å
Latest books: Learning Trust self-eulogy

Chief executive Alan Wood said in 2002: “We will know that we have been successful when Hackney parents, instead of fighting to get their children out of our school, will be fighting to get them in.” Ten years have passed and, the Learning Trust says, Hackney is now considered a borough with “rapid improvements, sustained achievements, best practice and innovation in education”.

Tricia Okoruwa, who will head the new Hackney Learning Trust, said: “We now have the opportunity to build upon both the Learning Trust’s great successes and the excellent work currently being undertaken by Hackney council.”

Okoruwa was deputy director of the  Learning Trust, and before that headteacher at Kingsmead Primary School in Clapton.

An official of the Department for Education denied that it had been taken by surprise but said it had been kept in touch with the transfer of educational services.

The official told Loving Dalston: “We are pleased to confirm that Hackney council will now set up new education service arrangements intended to build on the success of the Learning Trust’s transformation of education in the borough since 2002.”

David Altheer 270712 

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