Magazine article Public Finance

Sponsor Rejects City Academy Criticisms

Magazine article Public Finance

Sponsor Rejects City Academy Criticisms

Article excerpt

The sponsor of three of the government's flagship academies has hit back at suggestions that wealthy individuals could make more of a difference to children's lives by channelling their money into different projects.

Carpet millionaire and Conservative peer Lord Harris of Peckham, who sponsors three city academies in south London, said a report from the independent organisation New Philanthropy Capital did not 'hold water'.

'Sponsors like myself strongly support academies because they are beacons of success in their communities and transform lives for the better,' he said.

'The evidence shows academies work and sponsors will continue to back them, knowing the business skills and new ethos they bring helps some of the most disadvantaged children in the country.'

NPC's report On your marks, published on April 25, said private investment in education was to be encouraged but backing an academy was a risky strategy compared with other options, such as supporting anti-bullying projects or out-of-school activity schemes.

Martin Brookes, head of research at NPC, said: 'There simply isn't enough evidence to make a conclusive assessment on whether academies are a good investment for donors. …

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