The TES is reporting that “accelerating” the growth of multi academy trusts (MATS) is the key to driving up educational standards in the north, a government report says.
It adds that all northern local authorities – some of whom had been “deliberately obstructive of academisation” – should encourage and help the growth of strong and effective MATs.
Stand-alone or small academy trusts should consider merging to build more “sustainable” chains, it says.
Sir Nick Weller, chief executive of the Bradford-based Dixons Academies Trust, was commissioned to write the report by former chancellor George Osborne, and former education secretary Nicky Morgan.
Sir Nick wrote: “I believe that accelerating growth of MATs is key to driving up standards in the north. We need to grow our own capacity in the north, while learning from the experience of successful large MATs here and elsewhere.”
He wrote: “To go further faster, I believe we need to be more challenging to successful schools in the north, who should feel a moral imperative to support struggling schools through sponsorship arrangements.”
He said the DfE should review the admissions code to clarify how schools can encourage greater diversity, adding: “Schools with high concentrations of mono-cultural disadvantage should consider how changing their admissions policy might encourage a more diverse mix of students, for example randomised selection from a city-wide or whole-town catchment.”
Do you think that multi academy trusts are helping to improve education in the north? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie
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