New Corporate Studio Schools Mean Workfare for Children

child-labour-2Children as young as 14 are now being sent on a weekly basis to work for private companies without pay in a shocking escalation of this Government’s workfare policies.

Red Pepper magazine this week reports on the growth of the secretive Studio Schools, a little known sub-set of the Free Schools programme.  According to Red Pepper, for a bargain price of just £8000, businesses can have a tailor made school full of unpaid and low paid child workers.

Children and young people up to the age of 19 will only be offered a minimum GCSE level education and the schools will have long days and short holidays to mimic working life.

The schools will teach a basic version of the national curriculum with much of the rest of the time devoted to unpaid work.  Those between the ages of 14 to 16 will be required to work at least four hours a week for private companies for no pay.  Those over 16 will receive the national Minimum Wage of just £3.68.

This is different to the normal practice of sending kids on a fortnight’s work experience as has happened for many years in the educational system.  As the Studio Schools website explains to employers:  “Rather than spending two weeks unpaid, students will participate in real work over a sustained period of time. In doing so they will become productive members of your business’ workforce.”

This is used to justify employer’s being asked to pay those over 16 year a wage for the work they do, an unfashionable idea under this administration.  Yet those under 16 will not be paid, despite being ‘productive members’ of the workforce over a sustained period of time.

Article 32 of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, signed by the UK clearly, states that signatories “recognise the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation.”  In most countries where young people are forced into child labour they actually get paid.

Whilst those under 16 are currently only believed to be working 4 hours a week there seems to be little to stop that being stretched out to  much longer hours.  A guide to employing young people on the Studio Schools website helpfully points out to employers that:

“Students on work experience arranged by the local authority or by the governing body of a school acting on behalf of the local authority should not work more than 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week.”

Predictably the Confederation of British Industry, the Chambers of Commerce and the Institute of Directors are huge supporters of the project which will allow them to employ children for no or miniscule wages.  Hilton Hotels, National Express and Virgin Media are just some of the money grabbing leeches who have signed up to the new schools.

Read the full details of the new schools over at Red Pepper:

120 responses to “New Corporate Studio Schools Mean Workfare for Children

  1. Pingback: New Corporate Studio Schools Mean Workfare for Children | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's |

  2. although it is multi nationals that will benefit from these schools and the exploitation of children, it is underpinned by the calvinist type religions who seem to think workhouses are a good thing. I was just reading a comment by a guardian reader made by Andrew Marr in the newspaper in February 1999. “It may be my presbyterian background but I firmly believe that repression can be a great civilizing implement for the good. Stamp hard on certain natural beliefs for long enough and you can almost kill them off.” These are the type of people Chris Patten Tory chairman of the BBC are using license payers money to employ.

    • I saw that quote being used on the web but it’s out of context. He is talking about racism. A couple of other quotes from the article will chime with many people who use this site.
      “That’s the beam in our eyes -hypocritical abuse of the poor by people unwilling to pay higher taxes or review their own organisations and lives.”
      “why should anyone on the streets listen to a word, a single word, that the comfortable people have to say?”

      I have been very lucky to live through an era when there were inspiring leaders, something we badly need today. Yesterday I was reading Meacham’s “Amercian Gospel” about the role of religion in American life and politics. What caught my eye was a passage from hymn that was sung at a Church gathering with Martin Luther King in attendance in 1968. He had just started to place more emphasis on the issue of poverty in America as part of his civil rights movement. The man of peace was gunned down four days later but the words of that hymn certainly still resonate with me.

      “Once to every man and nation,
      comes the moment to decide,
      In the strife of truth with falshood,
      for the good or evil side;
      Some great cause, some great decision,
      offering each the bloom or blight,
      And the choice goes by forever,
      ‘twixt that darkness and that light…”

      He didn’t use violence or take anyone else’s life but rather gave his own for the sake of others. It just goes to show how goodness working through one man can overcome even that seemingly overwhelming power of darkness that blankets Westminster in these days.

      • “beam in our eyes” = I-Beam = IBM 🙂

        • HAL H+1 (letter of the alphabet in sequence) = I, A+1 = B, L+1 = IBM 🙂 Wasn’t Stanley Kubrick clever 🙂

        • I will resist the temptation to compare the android in Star Trek with a well known lookalike in Westminster. It was IBM who supplied the tabulating machines that the Nazi’s used in the death camps for people marked with a unique I.D number on their arms and their “effcient processing” and the effecient processing of the poor (with unique UJM i.d number) is a central plank in keeping taxes down for the rich today. We have become numbers in the Work Brings Freedom movement today.

  3. to add to the above post, one guardian reader said christians are being encouraged to take in those that are being made homeless by benefit cuts – I would much prefer them to be out on the streets protesting against these cuts instead.

  4. Coming after the pretend jobs ie hidden workfare i came across i thought nothing would shock me. But this.,
    Having said that, not so long ago i came across an advert for Deloitte the advisers to vodaphone who were avoiding tax. In the Deloitte advert they were recruiting school leavers using the student tuition fee hike as a motive to lure school leavers put off by the tuition fee hikes.. Thus the next generation of tax avoidence advisers would be created . I call that evil .

  5. Two phrases have been mentioned over several months. ‘The workhouse’ and ‘ they will be sending children up chimneys next.’

    Ahem.. Well we already have the first it seems, so..,,

    • Aye and it may get a lot worse in the near future too. As automation, robots and 3D printing technology gets more and more advanced, human beings are going to become more and more surplus to requirements what will the capitalists be capable of when even our slave labour is no use to them anymore, what will they do with us?

      • I know about 3d printing and its interesting however the consequences could be devastating. By the way i have more info on pretend jobs firm eos works.. I fond they traded under the name of 4 square before.. And after reading ppls accounts of experince with eos it doesnt look great at all , they have six centres and have picked up contracts that A4e couldnt get.. Been trying to get this kids stuff out to others on other blogs but as usual they are all asleep jabbering about some poibtless shit. As usual.

  6. Fuck the Salvation Fucking Army

    Seriously man, that fucking Salvation fucking Army Christmas Appeal “Give up £19” is doing my head in: “Charlie is homeless at Christmas, Kirsty is penniless at Christmas, a young child wont get any presents this Christmas, Bob lives in poverty… because YOU sanctioned them you FUCKING CUNTS. GET THAT FUCKING AD OFF MY FUCKING TV NOW BEFORE I SMASH THE FUCKING THING UP – AND I AM FUCKING SERIOUS!!

    • Try changing channel when you see it coming on love, it’d be a lot cheaper cos you will only end up having to buy a new TV 🙂

  7. #schoolfare
    Has a nice Tory sort of ring to it, although they cant sanction the kids directly, but they could withdraw school meals…and milk, and of course there is always the parents benefits to stop. Assuming, that is, they haven’t already sanctioned those in another branch of the war on the poor.

  8. Just when I thought these scumbag tories couldn’t sink any lower & as usual not a peep from the limpdems.

  9. John

    I have read your guardian link regarding Andrew Marr and retract my denunciation of him after reading the article regarding racism – thankyou.

  10. Virgin Media say no more not satisfied with prison labour that scumbag branson realy showing his true colour’s .

    • You could try writing to him and speak from the heart. He maybe just doesn’t see your point of view. I wrote to him about ten years ago about something being advertised in his shops . He wrote back saying he now understood and sent out a message to pull the material.

      • I really wish i could believe you re branson but after the devious nature of his virgin care business and his anti union stance . He was in collusion with rw press by slagging off the nhs. Mind you he loves tax payers money.

  11. Well those yachts, high powered sports cars, private islands, caviar dinners, private jets, diamond earrings, designer handbags, limousines with onboard Jacuzzis and gold-plated swimming pools don’t pay for themselves you know….

  12. When Cameron and Osborne said we had to compete with up and coming nations like India, China and Brazil, I didn’t think they’d go as far as bringing back child labour. Why are the Liberal Democrats passively allowing shit like this even to be considered?

  13. I have just been on a site called that denounces lutherism and states catholicism is a cult and Martin Luther King will be burning in hell. There are some sick people out there.

  14. That explains all the children working at an Ikea near me… absolutely shocking and no doubt as soon as they turn 18 they will be replaced with more children to avoid paying them a proper wage. I feel sorry for the next government that has the job of cleaning all this tory mess up!

  15. Apart from Red Pepper & here there’s no coverage of this at all, not on the Guardian’s site nor the Independent (about as independent as my big toe) & as for the Daily Fail , don’t get me started! This is the type of scandal they should be covering not getting their hypocritical knickers in a twist over some silly cow who topped herself over a prank phone call. OK, rant over. Suppose we shouldn’t expect any better from our mealy-mouthed, vindictive media, as after all we’re only “scroungers” aren’t we Grrr..

  16. “This is the type of scandal they should be covering not getting their hypocritical knickers in a twist over some silly cow who topped herself over a prank phone call.” Both need to be covered: the prank call may have been literally the last straw for someone who was already struggling and suffering as much from the policies of this evil government as our children. She certainly doesn’t deserve to be called a “silly cow”.

    • True and the daily mail should hang their heads in shame after the hatchet job they did on her.

    • Maybe so, but where’s the reports about the poor, sick & disabled who’ve been pushed over the edge, after having their benefits sanctioned or stopped altogether due to the policies of this spiteful government? Those are conspicuous by their absence as are reports about this schoolage “workfare”. scam. That’s what I was driving at, the skewed priorities of the media inasmuch that anything connected with the royals or various vacous celebs is somehow newsworthy, but the suffering of the groups listed above is a no-go area & deemed not worth reporting.

      • And what I’m trying to point out is that this woman may well have been among the sick and disabled, pushed over the edge by a couple of thoughtless idiots who don’t give any thought to the consequences of their actions. The punitive attitude of the government towards the chronically sick and disabled (and i’m one of them) means that people who have jobs are often terrified to take time off when they need it. Committing suicide is the act of a desperate person, and for someone to reach that stage of desperation is a tragedy.

        • Wait a minute.. Weve been dealing with child abuse for a while now ok? Whats the possibility that some youngster might fall prey to some paedo boss? Or what if this is deliberate in order for that to happen?

      • Thank you kitty what with this and the pretend jobs aka workfare/ workhouse we should be riotin by now

    • .. for me this was one of the most shocking stories to play itself out ‘in public’ recently (leaving aside the advent of universal credit/job snatch which doesn’t seem to be getting much media attention). Could it have been the UK media’s coverage of the ‘prank’ – out of all possible proportion with the ‘attempted joke’ – that might have been the final straw for Jacinta Saldanha. She reportedly committed suicide after radio jockeys made a prank call, impersonating royal family members and she could conceivably have been scared for her job security/reputation at work as a result. Reports were not clear if Jacinta had indeed divulged information.

      “The mood that prevails in Shirva is that of apprehension and fear over the safety of the people from the town who are working in UK, US, Australia, Canada and the Middle East. Every house in Shirva has a person working abroad. But this single incident has sent a shiver among the people who have their loved ones working abroad. They are saddened over the fact that one of the people from the town, who are hardworking and honest, fell prey to a prank made by evil-minded people,” said Richard Cornelio who came to the house of Jacinta to comfort her mother-in-law Carmine Saldanha.

      A grieving Carmine said: “My daughter-in-law was a fine nursing professional. She was highly acclaimed by her colleagues and the management. We were very proud of her. She was very careful about her career and was very meticulous in carrying out her duties”. “She was a hardy kind but the reason that has been cited for her end appears to be fear of reprimand from the hospital,” said one of her relatives.
      (The hospital had not reprimanded her and were offering counselling).

    • excatly. the stupid ones where the twats who thort it would be a funny auzie prank to extract personal information about a member of the royal family
      which they had no business knowing. i wonder how they would feal if it was the other way around and involved there family members.

      isn’t obtaining information via deception a crime? the should both be fined. all that crying on national tv is just for the cameras, its like watching the Koreans crying over the death of kim jon ill.

  17. “Studio Schools are at the cutting edge of innovation in English education
    and are grounded in extensive research and best practice from Britain and around the world. For
    further information about the model visit the Studio Schools Trust website at ”

    Extract from “The need for Studio Schools – Overview of the evidence” PDF

    Click to access Studio%20Schools%20Research%20Report.pdf

  18. Its a pity Dickens is dead as he would be kept in material to write about for years to come courtesy to these Tory bastards.

  19. Oh daddy daddy please dont let them force me to work at Savile’s Perv Emporium.

  20. As long as this government have the excuse of having to make cuts because of the state of the economy, the man in the street will not question whats going on.

    “Well they have to get the deficit down, and we all have to make economies”
    No doubt the green shoots will begin to be seen just before the election.

  21. And how will this lead to jobs for them when there is always a steady supply of child labour coming through the schools ripe for exploitation?

    On the Salvation Army comment above – is that the “£19 will help pay for a box of festive essentials”? I got their leaflet through the door: “Delivering hope for the UK’s most vulnerable”. It tells me that “£42 will provide a homeless person with two weeks in a Salvation Army centre and support to help them get off the streets for good.” Well, what good will a benefits sanction do for anyone? Might help pay the fat salary and pension of some senior Salvation Army administrator, I suppose.

  22. Has anyone noticed the similarities between Himmler and Gove?

  23. The Tories wouldn’t be hardfaced enough to make school kids pay for their education – but they are now demanding that the kids to pay for education with their labour. As Nye Bevan said : ” Whenever you scratch a Tory you find a Fascist.”

  24. Hi chewie

    You’ve provided some cracking links for us to read – the Ruth Whippman, how we all started working for free, was excellent. I’m trying to get my grand daughter to show me how to transport links from site to site, as of now I can only give the name of website I have been on as reference.

  25. What happens if the young serf is deemed useless at their work, returned to school while exams are approaching and other students have been studying full-time, they don’t stand a chance. There is already tremendous pressure on youngsters to do well in their exams without the 9-5.

  26. Ok well i hoped i helped. Its the copy and paste option you will need , thats how its done.
    Well along with that article and the faily mail propaganda it seeks to alienate you and at same time invest guilt in you to the point you will do anything to avoid being targetted as a social pariah or layabout.

    The ultimate aim of that media is the desyruction of the welfare state , no benefits, no social security , no NHS.., everything as a marketable product.
    That way so they claim will be less taxes.. Ha ha .. That wont happen and the idiots cabt wrap there heads around the fact that tax payers money is being given to companies on a plate who mostly turn out to be shit.
    Eg monster recruitment who designed the crappy UJM website, there was enough info that showed it was riddled with fraud. Bloody hell it was on a site that had the word ‘fraud’ on it !!
    Ok daily fail strategy is to single out and ridicuke/ blame etc
    So if a movement is growing they dont like tgey will pick one member and write him up as a threat or nutcase .

    Just see how many times they have done that.

    Ok i am still taking apart the pretend jobs stuff.
    Ive posted a. Forum link about them as its just them as the usual hopeless outfit a lot of them are and quite nasty too.
    The poverty pimp trade.
    They got contracts that A4e werent allowed to bid for..
    I guess this crappy ‘ lets pretend you are at work’ scheme is some idiot scheme to get more contracts or as most ppl suspect another brand of workfare but hidden away in a employment centre as they call it.
    Another name for it is the workhouse.

    Theres another link i posted by some idiot free market website ( who were publishing anti NHS shit and promoting pro privatisation of NHS ) well in this shit item they were trying to flog the idea of the benefits of working for free.. They keep trying dont they.
    Worse was seeing undergrads paying firns to let them work for these firms.

    Now then to give you an idea how pernicious this can get, as i posted already on here.

    Not so long ago deloittte the accounting firm that was advising vodafone on how to avoid tax was recruiting school leavers using the student tuition fee hike as a ruse to get these kids to work for them for free . This the next generation of tax avoidance advisers would be created…

    Evil eh?

  27. Just when i think i cant feel any more deflated…

  28. Just out of CallMeDave’s gob during PMQs “we’re raising more money for the rich..”

  29. 100 comments and counting… 🙂

  30. So this is what Scamoron means by ‘re-industrialising’ the UK economy, after all, China’s Foxconn has been found to have 14yr old factory workers… Capitalist competition at its very best. BASTARDS.

  31. Reblogged this on INCUBUS: Incendiary rants of an apostate anarchist and commented:
    Behold the future they have in store for the coming generations…

  32. something survived...

    They haven’t considered
    -Risk of paedophiles
    Other harm to kids
    CRB checks would be needed on the kids and as kids are now present, on all employees. Staff without one or who refuse it would be sacked.
    Injury at work, and equipment too big to fit. Not real employees so not really covered in employment law. Eg fights, disputes. Kids who are violent, disruptive, on drugs, rude, abusive, harrass other staff and customers.

    • @something survived i raised this issue at the time re child abuse. Add to that the worry that homeless families may have their children removed and put into care homes.. Private ones. That are not scrutinised.

  33. Pingback: Weaponising Workfare | theurbanfix

  34. Pingback: Weaponising Workfare | Novara Media

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  36. Pingback: Hey Posh Boy, Leave Our Kids Alone | the void

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  38. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    The Studio Schools’ programme of having their pupils between the ages of 14 and 16 spending 4 hours a week working for private companies reminds me of Heidegger’s speech, when he was made rector of one of the German universities under the Nazis. He was placed in charge of the uni in order to supervise its gleichschaltung and adoption of Nazism. He declared that in Germany’s new schools and labour camps a new spirit was reigning – that of Nazism. This part of the ‘Free Schools’ movement seems to show that the Tories and their Lib Dem allies have adopted the same policies and the same mentality: forcing the poor to work for them, for free, under the spurious pretext that this is somehow ennobling and preparing them for the world of work and their correct place in society.

  39. Pingback: Weaponising Workfare | Novara Wire

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