West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has had his say on the Home Secretary’s plan for PCCs to run free schools for troubled children.
Mr Jamieson – a former headteacher with more than 25 years’ education experience – said he was ‘uncertain’ about the proposals.
Home Secretary Theresa May this week unveiled plans for more powers for Police and Crime Commissioners, branching out into areas of youth justice, probation and court services after the elections in May.
She said PCCs should ‘bring together the two great reforms of the last parliament – police reform and school reform’ to establish ‘alternative provision of free schools to support troubled children and prevent them falling into a life of crime’.
She also said that the work of Police and Crime Commissioners had proved ‘valuable’ and was ‘here to stay’.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “I note the home Secretary’s praise of the innovative work of PCCs the last few years.
“I am particularly proud of the record we have here in the West Midlands. We have set up the country’s first Victims’ Commission, recruited new officers and made stop and search more proportionate. We have also introduced a new approach to supporting people with mental health needs so they are now much less likely to end up in police cells or hospital and invested in a new partnership with the NHS to reduce violent crime. We have also more than doubled the number of officers working on crimes like domestic violence, child abuse and human trafficking.
“Before becoming an MP and a PCC, I was a teacher and headteacher for more than 25 years. I must confess, this idea of reuniting with my former profession has come out of the blue and I’m not sure it’s top of the class – I thought my school days were over.
“I am uncertain that PCCs running schools fits entirely within our brief or, more importantly, is the best thing for children. Schools should be run by teachers and education experts.”