Nigel Gann, an "expert" on school governance was joined recently by educationists from all over the country, teachers, friends and family at The Hub at St Mary’s in Lichfield's Market Square for the event.
His book “The Great Education Robbery: How the government took our schools and gave them away to big business”, starts from the perspective of a small village school that, he says, was forced to become an academy when it lost its headteacher.
The author then explores the way that the leadership of state education has changed over the last twenty years, and how, he says, local people, including parents, staff and councils have been "squeezed out" of the governance of their neighbourhood schools.
Mr Gann said, “Most people do not realise that successive governments have given away more than 65 billion pounds worth of public assets – our school buildings and grounds and all they contain – to self-appointed corporate bodies.
"Worse even than that, business people, hedge fund investors and money-makers with no educational experience have taken control over the majority of our secondary schools, as well as a third of our primary schools.
"People who know and understand schools and education now take second place to business people and wealthy cronies.”
Mr Gann's book, published by Austin Macauley and priced £11.99, is available now in bookshops and online.