One aspect of the new Education Minister, Michael Gove's policy that hasn't been questioned is what he means when he will check whether parents who want to set up new schools have a "dark agenda."
Good that he promises not to allow extremist religious groups,' fake theories' and 'bogus science' - but what about the corporate agenda?
Here is a link to my letter published in Today's Guardian (29th May)
• Schools' new freedom from local authorities could well open the door wider to inappropriate sponsors – not least the global food giants. As pressure mounts to stop junk food advertising to children, companies such as Nestlé are coming into schools through the back door of nutrition and health education. Commercial sponsorship of "education" is not philanthropy – it assists the corporate agenda on many levels. Not only does it blur the boundaries between advertising, marketing and education; it helps the most dangerous corporations build public trust and re-establish themselves as forces for good. Before long the curriculum is distorted in favour of business interests – and our children start believing that companies can be trusted to regulate themselves.
Nestlé chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe has warned that tying corporations up in a regulatory straitjacket is unnecessary because Nestlé, one of the most boycotted companies on the planet, has already adopted sound principles and core values! At the spring Tory conference in February I asked Michael Gove how he was going to stop such companies harming child health through involvement in education. He answered: "I have no idea"!
Patti Rundall Policy director, Baby Milk Action