No wonder ministers are wary of converting all schools into academies

Mar 9, 2016 by

With schools battling cuts, teacher shortages and crowded classrooms, the government should not spend the next three years on structural changes

The recent education and adoption bill is done and dusted – without much fanfare, as it turned out. For those who dozed off during its passage through parliament, provisions included toughening up forced academy conversion and moving power from local authorities to the Department for Education and its lieutenants, the regional schools commissioners. Before the bill had even reached royal assent, rumours began to circulate that new legislation was in the pipeline that would academise every school in England by 2020.

It must be frustrating for ministers that this goal hasn’t been achieved. After almost six years of coercion, financial inducements and at times outrageous misrepresentation of the superiority of “independent” state schools, there are still only about 5,500 academies and free schools. That is admittedly over 5,000 more than in 2010 but it leaves around 16,000 schools in the maintained sector.

Thus far ministers appear to be keen to stress that the remainder will be “helped” or “given the opportunity” to change status. In the Lords before Christmas junior schools minister Lord Nash said this was not about “making every school an academy overnight at the stroke of a pen”.

Source: No wonder ministers are wary of converting all schools into academies | Fiona Millar | Education | The Guardian

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