In all the gleeful corpse-kicking that followed the official separation of government and News International after thirty years of abusive forced marriage, it's time to look at those little stories over the last year that the Coalition might prefer to forget and the Opposition might miss during the recovery from the shock that Ed Miliband is acting like the Prime Minister and Gordon Brown is cool again. In particular, this from the Observer last September:
The Observer understands that executives at NI, which owns the Times, the Sun, the Sunday Times and the News of the World (NoW), are actively discussing sponsoring a school in east London, close to the company's headquarters in Wapping.
The idea, which is being spearheaded by Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of the Sun, who is now chief executive of NI, has been under discussion for several months but is still at an early stage, according to sources.
The possible curriculum interests of Hacktheboys Hall frankly boggle the mind - long lens field trips? ICT lessons focused on breaking into critical national infrastructure. The article goes on:
However, a source close to the company said the plan represented a "positive and conscious decision for News International to become involved in education".
It is expected that the academy would place a strong emphasis on journalism and multimedia training. The NI source said it would focus on "professionalism in journalism"
It will be rather interesting if the Government intends to apply a 'fit and proper person' test equivalent to that for merely taking over a TV company to the task of educating the East End's kids. Perhaps we should ask Michael Gove, formerly paid £5000 per month to take an 'hour or so a week' to write drivel for the Times, or his wife Sarah Vine, still writing for the Times. Perhaps one Joel Klein could help out?:
Joel Klein left his job as Chancellor of New York City Schools, to take up positions as Executive Vice-President in the office of the chairman and CEO of News Corp’s Education Division, apparently to develop software and other educational tools that would lead to a “huge transformation in the field of education”, bringing the Murdoch empire at the forefront of using technology to deliver instruction. His critics claim that more teaching will be computer based and that teachers will become more and more redundant in this landscape. Although there is no evidence for this, other detractors wonder if this is beginning of Murdoch establishing a Chain of Charter Schools, especially since he had made a huge philanthropic contribution to the Leadership Academy in New York, one of Klein’s signal pet projects.
I think we should be told.