Francis Beckett

The Great City Academy FraudDescription
This highly controversial and compelling book exposes the government's city academies project: the ways in which companies and rich individuals have been persuaded to sponsor academies, their real reasons for sponsoring them, the lies that have been told in support of the academies project, and the disastrous effect it will have on Britain's schools. It brings together existing research, by the author and others, and adds new research, to build up a picture of a deeply flawed idea, which is educationally disastrous and inherently corrupt. In his provocative yet fascinating tour de force, Francis Beckett pulls the plug on the most high-profile educational scam for decades.


A powerful indictment of new Labour's cosy relationship with big business, in which expert advice that clashes with government policy is often ignored. - Sarah Birke, New Statesman, April 2007

What city academies represent is a return to the idea that the rich should contribute voluntarily, rather than through the tax system. But there is a new twist. The sponsor can get all the things a nineteenth century philanthropist could get, and which Attlee grudged him: control of how the money is spent, a “monument” to himself, the gratitude of the recipients. But unlike a nineteenth century philanthropist, he does not have to pay the cost of the thing he is “giving” – or even a substantial contribution towards the cost.


The book is a racy and, if it weren’t such a serious subject, at times a comic look at what has happened since the Tories wound up their CTC programme. Fiona Millar, Camden New Journal.

Book Details

  • Hardcover: 207 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.; 1 edition (29 Mar 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 0826495133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826495136
  • Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.6 x 2.4 cm