New Education Secretary sold off school playing field to developer before handing school over to Tory peer

Ark is one of the academy chains mentioned in the book I reviewed, ‘The Great City Academy Fraud’, by Francis Beckett. It’s name is an acronym, standing for Absolute Return for Kids. They are back by some extremely wealthy individuals and companies, including, almost inevitably, capital management firms, registered not here in Blighty, but over in the Cayman Islands. This includes Aspect Capital, ‘whose Aspect Funds are ‘organised as exempted companies incorporated with limited liability in the Cayman Islands’ and ‘not overseen by the Cayman Islands government or any other regulator.’ (p. 103, quoting Ron Muller). So, more privatisation of Britain’s vital social enterprises for the profit of the ‘privileged few’.

As for selling off school playing fields, this scandal was the subject of a continuing column in Private Eye, and was also attacked by the Daily Mail’s political sketch writers, Quentin Letts, in one of his books ‘Bog Standard Britain’, or ‘5o People Who Buggered Up Britain’. How degraded do you have been to be as a Tory, when even the Daily Mail is against your policies?

Pride's Purge

Just months after the successful 2012 Olympics, Justine Greening – the new Education Secretary – backed the sell-off of six tennis courts, a football pitch and a playground belonging a local school in her Putney constituency, of which she was a governor:

Justine Greening in school playing fields row

Just months after the sale, the school was handed over to a private Academy Chain ARK.

The chairman of ARK at the time happened to be a multi-millionaire investment banker called Stanley Fink.

Fink also happens to be a Tory peer who has served as co-Treasurer of the Conservative Party.

The sold-off school fields were subsequently bought by a private developer.

This is the woman now in charge of all our children’s schools.

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